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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
On January 9th, 2017, Myrtle Russell's life was about to change forever when her 37-year-old daughter suffered a stroke. Follow a year in the life of Myrtle and her daughter, Mia, as they face this life-changing event head-on in The Stroke That Touched My Heart by Mia and Myrtle Russell. Throughout this brutally honest journal, we gain an insight into the true meaning of gratitude and placing seemingly bad situations in perspective. As Myrtle and Mia's relationship changes dynamics, their bond is strengthened and they both learn so much about themselves and each other, and also appreciation and faith in life. This book takes a look into a family that has suffered a huge, life-changing trauma, then shares the life lessons they learned along the way. How can faith and gratitude aid the healing process when you are faced with life's obstacles?
This book, as the title states, will touch your heart. The relationship between Mia and Myrtle is extremely moving. Myrtle is such a strong character and always looks for practical solutions to seemingly dreadful situations. I have made a note of several of her gratitude stories which I will use in my own life. My absolute favorites have to be to list one thing you hope for and to describe what you are doing to keep that hope from dying. Another was to place worries in a jar and leave them to a higher power. I thought the practical steps to overcome feelings of helplessness and grief were so powerful but very simple to execute.
There are many uses for this book. First, for anyone who has experienced a loved one suffering a stroke, this book will take you step by step through the whole process of dealing with your emotions of grief, whilst having to deal with the practicalities of hospital bills and social security. Second, this is a comprehensive guide to anyone who has experienced grief or trauma of any kind. It will shine a ray of sunshine onto problems and give you the tools to see them with clarity and gratitude. Third, the book can be used as little nuggets of wonderment to refer to when life seems to get in the way of progress. By referring to the gratitude stories, you will always find joy in your darkest hour. I believe everyone should have a Myrtle Russell in their lives, but if you do not, then having this book is the next best thing.