A tragic accident drastically alters the lives and responsibilities of a producer and film and TV writer and his family.
Segal’s life came to a screeching halt when his beloved wife, Susan, an actress, was hit by a city bus head-on in 2012. Curious readers may skip to the end of this smoothly written memoir to discover that Segal’s wife (and daughter Alyce) miraculously survived the accident. However, the true heart of this book is the long journey afterward, as the author diligently and eloquently documents his wife’s painful recovery and his efforts to hold the family unit together. In flashbacks, Segal writes lovingly of his storybook romance with Susan, whom he met through a friend in New York City, and of their brisk marriage and relocation to Los Angeles, where they both thrived on the Hollywood film and TV circuit. Two decades later, while the marriage began to show some wear and tear, the near-fatal tragedy seemed to reinforce priorities and the idea that true love could indeed conquer all. With honesty and conviction, the author meticulously recalls his first feelings after Susan was bedridden for two months with critical injuries, including a massive brain bleed, a broken neck, broken arms and feet, and a crushed pelvis. Segal also remained dedicated to updating friends on Facebook with detailed, often heart-wrenching posts. Susan’s journey toward wellness was arduous, replete with “ICU psychosis,” hallucinations, and confusion, but it was all tempered by the love of her husband and children and the shared hope that she would fully recover. Segal also details the aftermath of her ICU stay, the long road through rehab, and how the family gelled back together; photographs of Susan’s mangled car horrifyingly illustrate the deadly extent of the accident. Some sections meander and ramble a bit, but overall, Segal’s story reflects the intensity and desperation of an “all consuming” familial trauma.
Hope and love trump tragedy in this heartfelt, vigorous memoir.