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My Glory Was I Had Such Friends: A Memoir Hardcover – June 27, 2017
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“Remarkable…My Glory Was I Had Such Friends is about the power of showing up for those you love, no matter the odds, no matter the distance.” (CBS Sunday Morning)
“There’s a special air around crisis that makes true intimacy possible in ways that daily life rarely does. Amy Silverstein has tapped into that moment with a cast of women who will make you pine for your nearest and dearest.” (Kelly Corrigan, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Middle Place and Glitter and Glue)
“An intimate celebration of the power of compassion.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Skillful…A brave, transparent look at the harrowing battle of a heart-transplant patient who, through the support of her friends, conquers unthinkable odds.” (Booklist)
“In this inspirational memoir of sickness and health, Silverstein pays tribute to the many women who put their lives on hold when she needed them most.” (Real Simple)
“My Glory Was I Had Such Friends is, at its core, a book about friendship. Silverstein spares no words honestly describing the endless emotions she felt when friends from work, childhood and her community walked alongside her as she waited for a heart…As different as these friends were, they all had common goals that brought them together: a love for Amy and a desperate desire for her to get a new heart. As a result, friendships deepened in courage and perseverance, and a new understanding was born for what it means to say, ‘I’m there’—and truly mean it.” (Associated Press)
“An inspiring, heart-warming memoir...Amazing...You can wait for the movie or grab some hankies and start crying now.” (Huffington Post)
“Read, be inspired, and then go call up your BFFs to tell ‘em how much you love them.” (Women’s Health)
From the Back Cover
In this moving memoir about the power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit, Amy Silverstein tells the story of the extraordinary group of women who supported her as she waited on the precipice for a lifesaving heart transplant.
Nearly twenty-six years after receiving her first heart transplant, Amy Silverstein’s donor heart plummeted into failure. If she wanted to live, she had to take on the grueling quest for a new heart—immediately.
A shot at survival meant uprooting her life and moving across the country to California. When her friends heard of her plans, there was only one reaction: “I’m there.” Nine remarkable women—Joy, Jill, Leja, Jody, Lauren, Robin, Valerie, Ann, and Jane—put demanding jobs and pressing family obligations on hold to fly across the country and be by Amy’s side. Creating a calendar spreadsheet, the women—some of them strangers to one another—passed the baton of friendship one to the next and headed straight and strong into the battle to help save Amy’s life.
Empowered by the kind of empathy that can only come with age, these women, each knowing Amy from different stages of her life, banded together to provide her with something that medicine alone could not. Sleeping on a cot beside her bed, they rubbed her back and feet when the pain was unbearable, adorned her room with death-distracting decorations, and engaged in their “best talks ever.” They saw the true measure of their friend’s strength, and they each responded in kind.
My Glory Was I Had Such Friends is a tribute to these women and the intense hours they spent together—hours of heightened emotion and self-awareness, where everything was laid bare. Candid and heartrending, this once-in-a-lifetime story of connection is a powerful reminder of the ultimate importance of showing up for those we love.
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Obviously most of us don't know anyone on a heart transplant donor list or to many folks in critical condition that need 24 hour care by friends to help us through a crisis. As someone that is chronically ill however, I know how appreciative I am of anything that someone does to help my days pass easier. So while the health condition may vary, the need for friends and their help doesn't. If this book helps encourages some to be more receptive to helping out sick friends, it is worth it. It also helps some of us know we are not alone. At one point in the book she mentioned how people would tell her how great she looked when she was out in public. She had made a long standing rule to not live her life in pajamas but to get dressed decently, do her hair and makeup. People seeing her tended to think she wasn't as ill as she said she was. I have run into that myself. People telling me how great I looked as if I couldn't possibly be as bad off as I say. What they don't realize that I'm only out in public on my very best days. Come visit when I'm having a flare or day I can't walk or move without pain. Appearances can be deceiving.
This book brought tears to my eyes at points. I learned a lot about heart transplants that I never would have known. I am old enough to remember the news when the first heart transplant was done. Hard to believe that some people now have had those surgeries and have lived long enough to need yet another one. One of the sad facts of life for many of us with spare body parts inserted whether a cornea, a titanium knee or a heart; all of those parts have a limited longevity. This book delves into friendships and relationships as well as the medical issues surrounding Amy's life. I would highly recommend it, especially if you know someone that is going through great physical trials or by a person themselves going through great physical trials.
Her amazing and difficult journey being a heart transplant patient and defying all odds the first time around to her second journey on the transplant list gives such a well-rounded look at the journey of life and what people learn about humanity and relationships over the years.
I admired how candid she was about her spiraling negative outlook and shortness with those around her as it made her journey so believable. I felt so much compassion for her during her countdown to turning off medical devices (which kept her heart pumping).
Her friends did amazing things for her and their uniqueness was clear through Amy's writing. Each relationship had a backstory, recent history and most of all their love shined through in their own unique way. I truly hope to have the kind of relationships Amy and her friends built in my life. What an incredibly supportive group!
This is a wonderful read. Enjoy It!
Most recent customer reviews
We should all be blessed with such caring family and friends. I highly recommend reading this. Take the time to do so.