I recently finished reading Where You Left Me, by Jennifer Gardner Trulson. It was depressing, but it was also a book about healing and it had a beautiful ending. It is Jennifer Gardner Trulson’s memoir about her life after her husband dies in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers. She was deeply in love with her husband and obviously devastated by his death. The first half of the book is depressing because it’s about her grieving and coming to terms with the fact that her husband who she loves so much and who is the father of her two children is gone. I got really sad reading that section of the book because of what she had to go through and also it brought back memories of the day of the September 11th attacks itself. I still remember filing into the school gymanisum and being told the news of the attacks by our head mistress in an assembly when I was 12. I remember parents panicked and started picking their kids up, my brother came in to pick me up that afternoon, I was in music class, then we went and picked up my friend who went to the school across the street, went home and watched Ten Things I Hate About You. American Flags were sold out in Joann fabrics. Everyone remembers that day. People cried and a lot of people were confused, and felt vulnerable and people were afraid to fly after that.
It was an upsetting day for everyone… but I can’t even imagine how it felt to lose someone you loved so much in such a tragic way that day. While everyone else was upset and hurt by the attacks, the people who lost loved ones had to deal with that everyday amplified and it wouldn’t just go away when they turned off the TV. So, the first part of the book was depressing, but the second part of her book really becomes a story of healing. She meets another man and struggles to come to terms with honoring her husband and moving forward with her life and finding new love. In the end, she does find a happy place and the ending of her memoir is beautiful, but I don’t want to give it away. One of the things that I found inspiring about the book was the beauty that can be found in love. The message that I took from the book was that there is no limit on love. Loving one person so much, doesn’t mean you can’t love other people also and loving new people, does not mean you love other people less. Love is in an abundance, it’s funny how we can live in a world that’s so ugly, but at the same time, love is in abundance. That’s something that I learned from the book.
I chose to read this book because I first heard about it around the ten year anniversary of 9/11 and since I love reading memoirs and diaries, I thought I’d check it out. I figured it would probably be depressing, but I didn’t think it would sadden me initially as much as it did. But, the ending completely made up for it and by the end of the book, there was a healing that took place for her and as a reader that made the book great to me. So, I recommend it. Be forewarned, it is depressing in the beginning, but it comes full circle…
The next book, I plan to read is going to be The Warmth of Other Suns…I’ll probably dive into that one over the holidays because it’s a long one…but I’m looking forward to it! Soon I’ll be doing a “book haul,” on some of my other favorite books!