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Four Stars

“I give this book four stars.”

As in, four out of five. Well, nothing’s perfect from beginning to end. Do tell me why four and not five?

“She’s wasn’t angry at God. She just seemed to cling to him and hold so steady in her faith. I wouldn’t have been so faithful. Also, I didn’t get to see enough of her children’s response to their dad’s death. How did she tell her children? How did they respond? I wanted to know more.”

I see. Well, let me address those suggestions.

Yes, I was angry. Anger seemed to spill everywhere for a while, pointing in every direction, dripping from every pore. I didn’t even know all the things I was angry with and about. I couldn’t begin to list them, or rather I couldn’t complete an exhaustive list – it was too much.

I was angry because I found Robb’s shoes in the hallway, days after he had died, and it was only a crumb of the life he left behind. I was angry with the funeral director for having a typo on his paperwork. I was angry with the calendar for turning its pages. I was angry with the youth group who planned the sledding trip where Robb crashed into a tree, when he ruptured his spleen which ultimately led to his death twenty years later. I was angry with the mailman for bringing me anything with my husband’s name on it. I was angry with everyone who never knew him. I was angry with everyone who was married, in love, engaged, or remotely happy. I was angry.

And yes, a lot of that anger fell right into the hands of a righteous God. But the book on your shelf isn’t my journal, and frankly, you wouldn’t enjoy reading the depth, magnitude, and sheer number of pages of scrawling, black anger.

Publishers and editors know this. And they asked me to write the story with a little less of that darkness, please. With grace in their voices and a hand over mine, they said, “Tricia, when people say they can’t imagine what it’s like, they really don’t want to. You can’t take them there or nobody will read the book. And the goal is for people to read the book.”

As for the questions about my children and how they responded to their dad’s sudden and complete disappearance from their lives, I talked quite about this in the book. I wrote about how we processed together, the conversations we had, the questions we shared, and how we continue to make sense of it all.

It sounds like maybe you wanted more information, more details into those conversations and into their hearts. And this is a good time to respectfully remind you that they are not characters in a piece of literature. They are my children and this our lives.

Rating Stars

If changing the story would give me one more star, then I’m okay with four.

And thank you for the review.  Every single one counts.

* * *

If you’ve read And Life Comes Back, please consider giving your review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads.
(Any number of stars you choose.)

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. Hi Tricia- We met at the Storyline Conference in San Diego where I bought your book and handed you mine about navigating transition ( Living CrossWise). I bought your book for a friend who is a widow, but decided to read it first. I was dazzled by your writing! Pitch perfect! Sad to say, I don’t want to actually relinquish it to my friend- I did tell her I would loan it to her however. You are a beautiful writer! Thank you.

  2. Tricia,
    I, like many, many others have followed your story. My heart broke for you and your family when a friend forwarded your blog To me over 3 years ago, titled “Final Hours”. I have been one of the invisible followers with you on your journey ever since. You are a complete stranger to me and yet I feel I know so much about the amazing, strong, funny, talented, fractured, but not broken woman that you are. You have poured out your heart for all to see with such courage and transparency and I for one have been in awe of your strength and honesty. I so admire the way you have navigated your way through such unimaginable pain, all the while parenting 2 young boys to boot! So, when I read your blog tonight and felt your anguish about your 4 star rating from a critic I thought I might share something with you, to help you “shake” it off.

    ( From a section of Theodore Roosevelt’s “Citizenship in a Republic” speech)

    “The Man in the Arena”

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; Who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails at least fails while DARING GREATLY, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

    I thought of you when I heard this quote on Super Soul Sunday
    (highly recommend: channel 279 ~ OWN network ~ Sunday Mornings)
    last week with Brene’ Brown.
    YOU are the man in the arena sharing your heart and DARING GREATLY….

    (Google Brene Brown, you will love her! Try to find her 2 interviews with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday.
    I think you would really enjoy her story re: this Roosevelt quote. She also did a Ted Talk that went viral.)

    * By the way, I read your book.
    I thought it was Beautiful…

    5 STARS 🙂

  3. Your response to that review deserves 10 stars. Bravo!

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