I believe in divine appointments. I believe there are times God brings people into our lives because there is unfinished business He wants us to complete. I believe that sometimes, God prompts us to reach out to strangers because in doing so, He knows that we will entertain angels unaware.
A few months ago, in the most unlikely of places, I met a woman named Tonya. During the course of our encounter, she shared that she would soon be publishing her first book. Although I do not normally solicit books from writers whose work I am unfamiliar with, I mentioned that I review inspirational books and invited her to send me a copy when it became available.
At the time, I had no idea who Tonya was or what Tonya’s book was about. Little did I know that I had just encountered life-changer Tonya Ferguson – and that her memoir, To Remember Love – Two Promises That Led Me To The Notes In The Ashes, was about to profoundly impact my life!
To Remember Love is the brutally honest, emotionally raw, and incredibly moving account of Tonya’s 13-year journey through grief. The story also chronicles her first-hand experience with both sudden and lingering death. The first half of the book describes in heartbreaking detail how Tonya’s life shattered when her father died of a sudden heart attack at her mother’s dinner table. The second half describes the daily anguish Tonya faced as she witnessed her mother succumb, one memory at a time, to Alzheimer’s during the nine-and-a-half years she served as her primary caretaker.
Tonya’s book bears testament to the incredible resilience of the human heart, the healing power of God, and the strength of the human spirit. The experiences she shares could easily break the strongest of people, yet Tonya’s strong faith – which she attributes to the parents she so lovingly writes about – provide her with the sustenance she needs to get through the bleakest of days.
Chances are, you will shed many a tear as you read this “book with a heartbeat”, for Tonya doesn’t sugar coat her shock, clinically detach from her pain, or toss meaningless platitudes our way as she works her way through her grief. Instead, she lovingly and passionately pours her heart onto each page. Because of her authenticity, each chapter she shares is a stepping stone we willingly traverse as she sojourns through the desolate valleys of death and grief… always forging forward and ever looking upward to her Mount Sinai of Hope.
To Remember Love is filled with comforting Scripture, bearing witness to her goal:
I want to give you Hope to replace your Hopelessness.
I want to give you Glory to replace your Grief.
I want to give you Blessings to replace your Battles.
I want to give you Faith to replace your Fear.
For anyone who has experienced excruciating loss and is carrying hidden pain that only God can reach – Tonya’s book is balm. By openly writing about her grief, she personally helped me process mine. She put into words emotions I could not express. I felt my spirit shift and lighten as I read her words and felt frozen feelings surface and melt in God’s healing light.
If you are living in the aftermath of loss – if you feel stuck in grief – or if you know someone who is – buy this book! Likewise, if you are a caretaker or know one – if you have a loved one who is facing Alzheimer’s – or if you need to learn more about this disease – buy this book!
It is healing. It is life-changing. It is empowering. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
Tonya Ferguson is an inspirational Author, Singer, Songwriter and Recording Artist who changes lives as she shares her personal life journey and struggles through her songs and her books. She is down-to-earth, authentic, and highly engaging. To learn more about Tonya, visit her website.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from the author for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review, nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.