Five months pregnant, on a flight to their “babymoon,” Allison Pataki turned to her husband when he asked if his eye looked strange, and watched him suddenly lose consciousness. After an emergency landing, she discovered that Dave—a healthy thirty-year-old athlete and surgical resident—had suffered a rare and life-threatening stroke. Next thing Allison knew, she was sitting alone in the ER in Fargo, North Dakota, waiting to hear if her husband would survive the night.
When Dave woke up, he could not carry memories from hour to hour, much less from one day to the next. Allison lost the Dave she knew and loved when he lost consciousness on the plane. Within a few months, she found herself caring for both a newborn and a sick husband, struggling with the fear of what was to come.
As a way to make sense of the pain and chaos of their new reality, Allison started to write daily letters to Dave. Not only would she work to make sense of the unfathomable experiences unfolding around her, but her letters would provide Dave with the memories he could not make on his own. She was writing to preserve their past, protect their present, and fight for their future. Those letters became the foundation for this beautiful, intimate memoir. And in the process, she fell in love with her husband all over again.
This is a manifesto for living, an ultimately uplifting story about the transformative power of faith and resilience. It’s a tale of a husband’s turbulent road to recovery, the shifting nature of marriage, and the struggle of loving through pain and finding joy in the broken places.
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2018
by Random House
She found healing and strength while writing letters to her husband, she bared her soul and was honest in the struggles both physically and mentally. Strokes are such a scary thing and having experienced it in my family I was sympathetic towards this family before I even started this book. It's a slow process of recovery and a strong support system is necessary, which (thankfully) this family had.
Allison recounts who Dave was before the stroke as she writes about their meeting, courtship and anticipation of their first child. Her fears of the future is only natural and she talks how her faith sustained her.
This is a lovely memoir and one I highly recommend.
Thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley) for an advance copy in exchange for honest review.