(Disclosure: This book was provided , free of charge, by Hachette Book Group, in association with MamaBuzz.)
Jansten's Gift captured my heart from the very first chapter. It was one of those books that I could hardly put down until I reached the last sentence. It is a true story of loss, grief, hope and passion. I'm not a big crier but this book brought tears to my eyes many times. The writing is so refreshing and you really feel like you are sitting on the couch having a conversation with the author. It is one of those books that makes you want to hug your family closer at the end of the night and to make sure you are living your life to the fullest. This book is raw and I think that is why I loved it so much. Pam does not hide her feelings at all and she writes her true feelings, even if they may offend some. I love so much when people are real no matter what!
Our of her grief, Pam and her family end of going to Vietnam over Thanksgiving. This trip changed their life and the life of so many others that she would touch through the organization they started called Touch A Life. They have adopted two children from there and these children helped heal her heart from the grief of her son Jansten. The organization that Pam and her husband started has a main focus to stand in the gap for hurting and explointed children and to give them a voice. You can find out more about them here.
This is one of those books that makes you realize you don't have to be somebody important to help others. It makes you feel that no matter what may come in your life that you can pick up the pieces and make a difference and simply go on living. I'm so thankful that Pam shared her story in this book and I plan on sharing it with many of my friends.
Here is a quote from the back cover:
"This is a story of a journey that took seven years and the loss of everything I had. What I learned along the way is that maybe the answer to grief, or to feeling lost, is to give recklessly and passionately. It is in those acts of giving that you become open to receive life's most tremendous blessings."
A Description of the book from Hachette Book Group:
Nine years ago, Pam Cope owned a cozy hair salon in the tiny town of Neosho, Missouri, and her life revolved around her son's baseball games, her daughter's dance lessons, and family trips to places like Disney World. She had never been out of the country, nor had she any desire to travel far from home.
Then, on June 16th, 1999, her life changed forever with the death of her 15-year-old son from an undiagnosed heart ailment.
Needing to get as far away as possible from everything that reminded her of her loss, she accepted a friend's invitation to travel to Vietnam, and, from the moment she stepped off the plane, everything she had been feeling since her son's death began to shift. By the time she returned home, she had a new mission: to use her pain to change the world, one small step at a time, one child at a time. Today, she is the mother of two children adopted from Vietnam. More than that, she and her husband have created a foundation called "Touch A Life," dedicated to helping desperate children in countries as far-flung as Vietnam, Cambodia and Ghana.
Pam Cope's story is on one level a moving, personal account of loss and recovery, but on a deeper level, it offers inspiration to anyone who has ever suffered great personal tragedy or those of us who dream about making a difference in the world