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I Laughed, I Cried, I Found Solace… "Why (Not) Me?" by Rabbi Hirshel Jaffe, Rabbi James Rudin, and Marcia Rudin is the Perfect Book for When We Are Learning to Cope with a Devastating Disease or Supporting a Loved One Who Is Going Through Hell.

This book applies to anyone navigating the waters of life-changing events; the narrative may well be about surviving cancer, but the lessons learned and the vulnerabilities faced are universal.

I have a rare autoimmune disease that is slowly but surely taking my eyesight. It started in 2011; by 2014, my husband left me and our daughter, and my family cut off communication. Their discomfort with the situation and their fear of any burdens they might face lead them to leave with accusatory condescension in their wake… what can I say? It wasn’t much of a loss. However, it did teach me how important those who stay are through every trial, every success, every grief-stricken failure, and every dark joke. The most important thing I have learned is the value of consideration and laughter.

What did this memoir mean to me? “Why (Not) Me?” was written by two Rabbis and a professional writer (with a background in… of all things …cult psychology.) It explores the human condition, sources of strength, learning to have faith while being stripped of identity, and how to appreciate the blessings of ordinary life. The authors gave me hope and affirmation concerning my own personal journey, and with their subtle humor, they brought many smiles to my face.

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