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                                                            Zintas Aistars

    Sirens scream, and Valerie watches helplessly as her husband, Bill, is swept away from their home by
    emergency medical technicians to the hospital, where she finds out that he has experienced a brain aneurysm.
    This is Valerie's story of that mad ride that begins with an ambulance, dragging them suddenly out of their quite
    blissful everyday.

    No matter that these two have been married well over three decades; they are still, indeed, more in love than
    ever. Best friends, lovers, business partners. Along with their shared romance, their bond is much strengthened
    by their mutual faith, and this is the theme running through the entire account.

    And so, as Bill sinks into a comma, Val remains by his side, striving to keep her faith strong - in God and in her
    husband. Her family gathers around her, her adult children, her sister, and her friends. Val shares here her
    personal story of the difficult and seemingly endless waiting, the frustration of dealing with hospitalization and
    not always attentive (or even competent) staff, the many faces that quite randomly seem to float in and out of
    one's life when dealing with a medical crisis. Some bring relief, others bring another test to be endured.

    It is an honest, if not always literary account (like all but the rarest of self-published books, this one, too, cries
    out for an editor's defining touch)of an enduring love and an equally enduring faith. Most all of us have been
    through one or another experience of having a loved one hospitalized and of dealing with medical emergencies,
    and so we find ourselves caring for Valerie's emotional ride and occasional frustrations, because in some way
    we've all been there. We cheer with her when progress is made, feel her sadness when there is a regression
    again. We relate: the uncomfortable nights by a loved one's bedside, the anxious dealing with ever changing
    shifts of caregivers, the roller coaster ride of rising hopes and deflating disappointments, the blessing of a much
    needed night of sleep after the first hot shower in several days. It is what we do for those we love. We feel,
    too, for Val as her husband wakes and is not quite what he used to be, because by then - Val has become a

    Recovery is a slow and clumsy process. Those closest to us become people we can hardly recognize. But
    again and again, just when Val's strength begins to fade, she is blessed by some human angel, some parting of
    the waves of traffic to get her to the hospital on time, some random kindness of a stranger, that restores her
    once again.

    I Must Be in Heaven is the kind of story you share over a pot of coffee with a favorite neighbor or a good
    friend. Reading it is that kind of encounter: not so much a great book, but a great chat with someone who has
    become another warm and very human heart you're glad to have known for a while. There are many satisfying
    morals to this true story, and we can close the cover when the story is done, happy there are such good
    marriages in the world, still.

Zintas Aistars
Valerie Anne Faulkner's
"I Must Be in Heaven, a promise kept."
Zinta Aistars
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