The tough thing about it is she was only seven years old but had lived a very full life in her short time here on earth. Though it hurts us so much, we can rejoice that she is in Heaven and having the time of her life:) We miss you dreadfully, but are
During these last six months I have read a number of books on grieving for a loved one, and recently was introduced to the book, Jansten's Gift by Pam Cope (with Aimee Molloy). Thank you to Anna Balasi and Hachette Book Group for providing me with a complimentary copy of Jantsen's Gift for the purpose of review.
About The Book:
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.
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About The Author:
In 2000, Pam Cope founded Touch A Life Foundation by establishing a shelter in Saigon for homeless children. Touch A Life now supports 224 children in Vietnam and helps fund the Place of Rescue in Cambodia, a safe haven for famillies who have been stricken with the AIDS virus. Pam is now working to raise funds to build a center for children in northern Ghana who have been rescued from slavery. Pam lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband, Randy, and her children, Van and Tatum. Her older daughter, Crista, attends college.
Aimee Molloy is a freelance journalist and the co-author, with Senator John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry, of This Moment on Earth: Today's New Environmentalists and Their Vision for The Future; and For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire with James Yee. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
This book was incredible. What a journey it will take you on. While reading this book, I was immersed in an emotional journey like I have never read in a book before. Pam Cope eloquently displays the journey that every mother does not want to take, yet many of us have. The loss of a child. I personally have not lost a child to death, but a sibling and I was pleasantly surprised that Cope mentioned the various emotions that not only she experienced but also her family.
This book has challenged me to look at my life and what I can do to make an impact on the world around me. In this world of "me, me, me" and having to "live up to the Jones'" Cope challenged me (and any other reader) to think about what is truly important to you....look around at all your stuff and ask yourself, "Is it worth it?"
There is a quote in Jansten's Gift that is from poet John Rushkin and it says this:
"Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness"
This really impacted me...I am forever purging or organizing or selling, etc and why? Because apparently I thought I needed stuff, but I realize now that stuff is not what makes me who I am. I am who I am because of my family and my God. He has brought me through some serious stuff, just as He did with Pam Cope and her family.
The journey that Pam Cope and her family has travelled since losing Jansten is wonderfully amazing to me. The strength that they have to reach the children of Vietnam, and Ghana through Touch A Life is so wonderful. They have rescued thousands of children from slavery, the sex trade and certain death. God bless her and her family as they serve.
At the very end of the Jantsen's Gift, Cope makes this statement: "Maybe the answer to grief, or to feeling lost, is to do what she (Salamatu, a young girl from the Village of Hope) did: to give recklessly and passionately, to the point where people have to say, "You're Crazy!That is enough! Stop giving!" And yet we go on, and give some more. I firmly believe that in those acts of giving - when you have given your very last sticker - you become open to receiving life's most tremendous blessings"
You will laugh, cry and be challenged as you read Pam Cope's journey from grief to fullfilment! I highly recommend that everyone read this book! It would make a great gift, especially with Christmas coming!
Buy It!: You can purchase Jantsen's Gift through Amazon.ca or Amazon.com, as well check our your local bookstore.
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Giveaway ends December 8, 2009