11 May, 2011

Two Kisses for Maddy

Yesterday, a friend posted a status on Facebook about the book she was reading. After a couple posts back and forth, I went and checked out the blog of one Matt Logelin over at his blog, matt, liz and madeline. For those of you who are unfamiliar with his blog, he writes about the love of his life, the birth of his daughter, and the untimely death of the mother of his child, just before she was supposed to meet their daughter for the first time.

His book is basically an extension of his blog...he goes through the meeting of his wife, their life together, finding out that she was pregnant, the birth of their daughter, and ultimately the death of his wife. He writes about the struggles he faced as not only a widower, but as a single dad. It's called Two Kisses for Maddy.

When I heard about this book, I had never heard of Matt's blog before. But I read the back story, which you can read on his website if you follow the "haven't been here before" tab. I cried. After reading a couple of posts, I decided to put even more money on my credit card to buy the e-book. (Which, I'll be honest...I love my e-reader, and appreciate that my husband bought it for me, but nothing can possibly compare to holding a real book in your hands -- plus, you look uber smart with a bookcase overflowing with books instead of a nifty little hand-held device with books on it.)

Two Kisses for Maddy

The book is short....well...short in my mind...at only 242 pages. It was a quick read (for me) and I finished it in just a few hours. I'll admit, I'm not usually one to read the sappy books, especially if its a true story. When I read, I like to be taken away to a fantasy place with fantasy people. I don't like to be reminded that bad things happen to good people. I don't like to read a book, knowing that someone went through all of these things. But this book was good. This book was different. This wasn't a self help book, but a very real, very raw glimpse into the life of one man, who gained a daughter and lost a wife, all in the span of 27 hours. This man, who was in a great deal of pain rose up to the challenge of keeping the spirit of his wife alive for their newborn daughter. He took it as a personal mission to let his daughter know what a special woman her mama was. All while dealing with the funeral arrangements, friends and family, and the death of the woman that he loved with all his heart.

I'm not big on writing book reviews. If I like a book, I'll recommend it to friends who ask for book suggestions. But rarely to I flat out say "go read this book". But this was different....and I think it's because everyone, at some time or another, wonders what would happen if the love of their life died, especially if you still have young kids at home. I've probably thought about it more than most people, just based on the fact that my husband has been and will continue to be put in dangerous situations. Every time he leaves our house to go do something for the Army, there is always a chance he won't come back. Reading this book hit those nerves inside me that are specifically set aside for deployment times. It was hard enough to read it with him sleeping right next to me, where I knew he was safe and sound, and I'm glad that I didn't decide to read this book during a deployment where those feelings are always at the surface.

This book,  this glimpse into the life of a man with so much love, is heart wrenching. I cried through about half of the book. I laughed at a couple spots. I looked at my husband while he slept and I stayed up (late) reading (which I have a tendency to do if I find a book that's worth it) and thought about what I would do if my husband was suddenly ripped from my life. How would I react? Where would I go? What would I do? How would I tell the girls that their daddy was gone? How would I make sure that they had a strong male role model (or 5 or 10?)

Or what if it was me? How would Brad deal with it? Would he raise the girls how I would have? Would he remind them how much I loved them, and would he tell them all about our life together? Would he make sure their hair was perfectly and their clothes were matching? Would he bring them home to visit all their relatives and make sure that they were surrounded by love?

Obviously the answer is, of course he would. If either one of us was just suddenly gone, we would each do the best we could to make sure that our girls knew their other parent loved them. And to keep the spirit of that person alive.

We are very lucky to have the family that we do. Not just our immediate families....not just moms and dads, brothers and sister...we have an amazing extended family. Not just our aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, but our friends, who are so close, they are like our family. We have strong, amazing men in our lives who would be there to help the girls if Brad was gone. We have equally strong, amazing women in our lives who would be there in a heart beat to help if I was gone.

This book made me so thankful that I have what I do. And it makes my heart break for this man and his little girl, because she will never get to know the amazing woman her daddy loved.

So. In short, read this book. Make sure you have some tissues.

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