In this heartfelt, brave and honest account, Kerry Fisher and Pat Sowa share everything they’ve learnt from surviving the darkest of times. They shine a light on what it really feels like when your world shatters and how they found hope in the deepest despair.
Best friends since they met at university, Kerry and Pat had no idea that thirty years later, they’d need every ounce of their friendship to survive. In 2017, their worlds came crashing down when their teenage sons were both diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses within weeks of each other.
During the following rollercoaster months, Kerry and Pat regularly snatched time to message each other – often with black humour – providing a momentary refuge from their frightening realities. Together these two ordinary mums found a way to survive their extraordinary challenges and to navigate a new normal in an alien and isolating world. With raw honesty, they share the things they’ve learnt and what they wish they’d known – from how to tame raging mother guilt to restoring their natural optimism in the aftershock of tragedy.
In this profoundly moving book, Kerry and Pat take readers on a very personal exploration of the universal experiences of grief and loss, love and friendship that connect us all. Like a wise companion offering comfort, Take My Hand is a lifeline both to those overwhelmed by heartbreak and for friends and family who don’t know how to help. Most of all, it’s a powerful reminder that no matter how difficult life gets, you are not alone.
This was definitely never going to be an easy book to read but being a mother of a teenage son, I felt compelled to read it and I’m so glad I did.
Kerry and Pat’s stories are a reminder at how we take life for granted and how quickly that can change. Reading of both their journey’s when both sons are affected with two totally different illnesses around the same time was both heartbreaking and emotional, yet inspirational all at the same time.
I applaud the authors for bringing these two very different illnesses together and showing what a huge impact they have on not just the person that’s ill, but their loved ones also. We all know what it is like to be a teenager and being a parent, what it is like to live with them. I really felt for these two women as like most teenagers, their sons are fierce in their independence and wanting to be an adult yet they are still our babies. To see your child going through so much, it literally tore me apart.
Admittedly, I did spend most of my time crying my way through the book. The brutal account of both women with what they were going through and how it made them feel. It was also an eye opener as an outsider. Reading of their experiences of how friends or acquaintances would act around them or keep their distance and how some friendships have changed due to what has gone on. If anything it has made me more aware of ways I can help and wording things in a better way.
Both authors also include tips as well as advice for anyone going through similar to they have. I thought this was a wonderful idea as at the end of the day, until you are going through it, none of us know quite what to expect and am sure anyone that is currently going through it, will especially find it helpfully.
Take My Hand is an emotional story that offers hope. I take my hat off to both these inspirational ladies and thank them for sharing their experiences with us all. It can’t have been easy and I hope that they found it therapeutic in some way. With Pat and Dom’s story, I especially hope it raises awareness in helping people recognise mental health for the truly horrible disease it is.
My thanks to NetGalley and Thread Books for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
Take My Hand is available to purchase from Amazon.