A blogger and keynote speaker’s debut memoir about losing her young husband to cancer and the struggle to rebuild her life.
Sharp’s marriage to her beloved first husband, Brett, seemed all but inevitable. Both “had grown up in neighboring towns with both parents still together and mutual friends of all ages.” But when Brett was diagnosed with brain cancer just three years later, the pair faced the defining challenge of their marriage. He survived chemotherapy and went into remission, but radiation caused permanent baldness, a case of severe neuropathy and other health issues. Both decided to start a family despite the pall of uncertainty that the cancer had spread over their lives, and in vitro fertilization allowed Sharp to become pregnant with twins. However, within days of giving birth, they learned that Brett’s cancer had returned. For two and a half years, Sharp was brutally squeezed between managing new motherhood and caring for a rapidly declining spouse. Eventually, Brett succumbed to the disease, and healing from a death that had taken place over seven of their 11 years of marriage proved extremely difficult. Sharp had to deal with her own grief as well as that of two small, frightened children, who could not understand that their father was never coming back again. The author moved to Denver, where, after reading an article on eligible bachelors in a local magazine, she sent an email to Steve Saunders, who had lost his own wife to cancer and was himself the father of two teenage sons. Through dating, and eventually marrying, a widower with experiences so like her own, and then learning how to live in a blended family, Sharp came to her most powerful realization: While it would never be possible to completely “balance the scales” after a loss of the kind she suffered, she could still rededicate herself to living life to the fullest.
Wrenching yet eloquent and fiercely hopeful.