This book is much more about the subtitle than the title. My tragedy was shocking and had so many surprises through the journey of my recovery. However, as I allude to in the book, it takes me less than 60 seconds to name ten people that I know are struggling with tragedies worse than I. This book is about finding hope. Allow this extended quote from my Introduction to explain what I mean.
On my 58th birthday, as my family stood around me singing, it took me several breaths to blow out the five or six candles on my cake. Even more disturbing, I was told by doctors that without a transplant, my days on this earth were going to be far less than I had planned.
Please understand, this is not a book about how to survive a double lung transplant. Only a small percentage of men and women will ever have to address such a life or death situation.
Rather, I am asking you to join me on a journey that answers these and many other questions:
- How do you respond when your hopes and dreams are put on hold?
- What happens to your confidence when you can no longer fit the pieces of your life’s puzzle together?
- Why is it easier to help others instead of helping yourself?
- What steps should you take to prepare for a crisis?
- What is it like to be totally dependent on family, friends, and physicians?
- Where is your faith when you survive a dangerous operation only to become the victim of a stroke?
- How to wrestle with the “why me” questions.
- What are the most valuable lessons to be learned from a tragedy?
- Why is it important form a “crisis-ready” team?
I don’t know the circumstances you or someone you love may be facing. It may involve health, finances, relationships, or a host of other challenges. My desire is that if you are “Surprised by Tragedy”, these words will give you strength, courage, and hope.