Within My Heart: More than JUST A Review
You might laugh at me when I tell you that this book hit a little too close to home for me.
I know that I get made fun of by the Hottie when such books keep me up late at night reading. He takes one look at these “Christian” historical fiction covers with their somewhat fru-fru covers and flutters his eyes and fawns like a lovesick teenager.
Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander is yet another book by Bethany House Publishers. It takes place in colorful Colorado (which I suppose is redundant of me to say since Colorado means colorful). Widow Rachel Boyd is raising two young boys and struggling to keep her ranch afloat, when she is forced by circumstances to interact with the town doctor, Rand Brookston. In an attempt to save a friend’s life, they become medical partners and a friendship soon follows.
Seemingly typical and harmless reading, right? I enjoyed the book. I would recommend it as what I call “vacation reading.”
But the book hit close to home.
Two huge events happened in this book that have happened or are happening in my life right now.
There is a birth.
There is a death.
Granted the birth in this book is a cow; but hey, cows are miracles too. Seriously, can you imagine giving birth to something that big with hooves?
Likewise, I gave birth last week. Amazing experience – thankfully no hooves. But looking back, I think to myself . . . I did that?! God really was creative when He came up with how birth would all go down.
I also mentioned that there was a death in Within My Heart. The character that dies is one that we follow throughout the story. The reader witnesses his beautiful relationship with his wife and the process he goes through to face death. It is very real. Tamera Alexander did a GREAT job truly capturing this experience that we all must face, should the Lord tarry.
Sadly, this week, our family is potentially looking at death. Please don’t roll your eyes, but the death we may be watching before our eyes and played out in front of our children is our dog, Mussoorie. This week has marked a dramatic change in whom we have always known as Mussie.
Remember how this dog eats everything? Butter, Friendship bread starter, cookies, whole loaves of bread, poop, diapers, sewing pins, essentially anything.
But not this week.
We can drop food from the table ON PURPOSE and she leaves it there. I have actually had to sweep the floor because my brown furry vacuum isn’t doing her job.
She won’t get up from bed. I miss tripping over her and being followed from room to room by her clicking toenails. She used to sneak into bed once Brian escaped its warm covers to get ready for work. But not this week.
She turned 8.)
Her ankle is swollen, She has a fever of 103. She limps when she does walk. She barely has the strength to go to the bathroom.
My sons have become her personal physical therapists, Three times a day they make a walking course for her. With each step that she takes she gets rewarded with a doggie treat.
So as I was reading Tamera’s book the other night and how the characters in it are facing death, I looked over to my dog that had to be carried up to our bedroom. There she sat. Eyes watering. Nose dry. Staring at me. Limp. Whimpering.
This was the dog we bought to prepare us for children. To help us become responsible adults.
We figured that if we could keep her alive, then we could take care of a child. (Glad I didn’t have to nurse her.)
This was “our girl.” We thought she would always be “our girl.” And then the Lord provided Sweet Pea, of whom I am incredibly thankful for. I’d gladly have two girls.
I still love my dog. For the record, I love Sweet Pea more.
I’m not ready to give Mussie up, though.
It is just so fast. We did the surgery to prolong her life and I almost feel as if it put her on the fast track.
I don’t know what else to say.
I am in love with my new daughter, yet grieving at the demise of my dog. Such extremes. The delight and happiness over a human life given to me is far more important and the focal point of my thoughts.
But it does grieve me to see our faithful friend grow old so quickly before our very eyes.
And to watch the Hottie dote over this silly brown mow hawk dog, whom he still calls, “Darling.” I get weepy every time—which is only compounded by the fact I just had a baby.
Thanks to Bethany House Publishing. I am certain they never expected to receive a long review like this one. But I suppose they should be proud of working with an author who was able to capture life’s experiences accurately. I was not paid for this post and all opinions are mine.