I met Matt Patterson through the WLC, as I’ve met most of the authors I’m friends with. (And I’m happy to call him a friend.) On Christmas day, Matt was generous enough to gift me a copy of his precious book, his memories of his daughter, My Emily.
I’m not going to lie. I didn’t want to read it. (I’m so sorry, Matt.) Death is a subject I try to avoid at all costs, and I knew the ending of this book would inevitably end in the death of his daughter. It’s right there in the description of his book.
But do I regret reading it? No. Not one little bit.
It took me a month to finally bring myself around to reading his story, his deeply emotional story of the loss of his daughter. I had to gather up the strength to force myself to open it on my Kindle. I opened it and began reading. The thoughts circling around my brain were those of “Don’t do it.” “You’ll only cry.”
But I couldn’t tear myself away from the book. I read it in only a few hours. I smiled at the thought of the way Matt acted in the delivery room; Emily’s smiles and kisses. I cried and cried and cried some more. I prayed that God would never let me or my sister have to go through that. (I know I’m not a mom, but some day, I hope to have children of my own. I also have two nieces, a nephew and another nephew on the way. I couldn’t imagine this happening to them either. I don’t know if I would have the strength to bear what Matt and his wife had to.)
Matt is a brilliant writer. His pain was etched into the words, but not only was his pain clear, it was his hope that came out as well. Even after Emily’s death and through his anger at God, he was able to have hope that Emily’s legacy would bring about change in someone’s life.
My Emily is a book about hope and inspiration. This story was meant to be told to inspire people to come closer to God in their time of despair.
At the end of his book, Matt says, “In Psalms, it says Jesus offers himself as the light in our darkness. It’s my prayer you learn to have faith and trust that God can lift you in your times of peril and save those moments as gifts.”
I hope that you will pick up this book and read it. I’m only upset that I didn’t read it sooner when Matt gifted it to me for Christmas.
Now, it is with great pleasure that I get to say, tomorrow Matt Patterson will be my guest on the blog, so stop by and see what he had to say about writing, My Emily.