Just the Way He Walked: A Mother’s Story of Healing and Hope by Kathy Pooler | A Review

It was just the way he walked, with that self-assured, cocky stance that said he

was in control. Or was it his ready smile and quick wit that reminded me

of his father? Vern’s comment made me realize that Brian was

not just another normal kid, like Vern’s kids were.

He was Ed’s son. It was just the way he walked.

Just the Way He WalksIn her second memoir, Kathy Pooler tackles two difficult issues in her life. She refers to poor personal choices made in her marital life. These choices affected not only the author but also the lives of her children, Brian and Leigh Ann. Here she tells the story of her son Brian’s addiction and her simultaneous battle with cancer. It is a love story, one filled with hope and healing.
Concerned about Brian’s addiction, Pooler worries Brian will end up like his father, Ed. This is a common worry among parents of children in a marriage or partnership with an addicted partner. But how to watch and
help turn a person away from what another presents as normal?
Pooler tries as hard as a parent can try to help Brian, but we all know the various emotional stages of growth. The “I’m wholly knowledgeable” teen years, the “I’m an adult now” years, and the “I don’t need you in my life any more” years. How does a single parent cope with knowing a child is struggling with addiction of any type? Coping with this problem alone is difficult, as Pooler shares in Just the Way He Walked. She holds back nothing.
The strength of her faith is a bolster for her hopes and desires to help Brian. Helpful is a stepfather willing to step up and help Pooler with both battles. Pooler shows how at times we have to let someone step in to help through strengths we may not have. She shares her use of journaling, belief in prayer, and strong faith—a powerful toolbox.
Pooler’s memoir is well written. Her story is written with others in mind trying to help a family member or friend struggling with addiction. Descriptions of her emotions are honest and painful for the reader. But, we must expect reality to shine through in a tough story such as this.
In the synopsis of Just the Way He Walked, Pooler shares the goal in writing this book:

The message of resilience and faith in the face of insurmountable odds serves

as a testament to what is possible when one dares to hope.

I recommend Just the Way He Walked to those looking for the hope of helping an addict to turn his or her life around.
It is rare that I give a 5-star rating to books I review. Yet, often I make exceptions as I have done with Pooler’s new memoir. It is indeed a 5-star book.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review and nothing more. Opinions expressed here are solely mine.
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A Happy Truth: Last Dogs Aren’t Always Last by D.A. Hickman | Review

Caring for them is also a gift in disguise; it’s not optional.

Their needs can motivate and inspire us to keep moving.

Keep breathing, at a minimum.

Daisy Hickman shares with readers once again her gift of lyrical prose. In A Happy Truth: Last Dogs Aren’t Always Last, the story emerges as if she paints with a fine brush in delicate colors. Hickman’s story unfolds as one filled with immense love among dogs, cats, and humans.
A Happy Truth, memoir, animals, people who love animals,This fascinating story drew on my imagination to the exclusion of the outside world. It was as if I quietly sat in the midst of the storytelling and watched the story unfold. Animal lovers will discover a sense of magic in these pages. And not-yet animal lovers may be converted.
Hickman shares stories of a variety of pets. Some finding her family. Family searching for the “right” pet. Traveling in the middle of the night with ill companions, and walking with happy dogs. Each example brought me close to home and evoked memories I had not considered for some time.
Growing up with dogs, I related to stories of energetic puppies alongside older dogs. Often the older ones showed patience with their newly chosen younger family members. Since my marriage some 38 years ago, cats have become the animal to share our lives. Currently, we enjoy the antics of two cats; yet, over time we’ve loved and nurtured three others.
Hickman shares bits of wisdom about the love and care afforded to our animal family members. Often, out of the blue, she asks her readers a question, and I found myself answering many of them. In other words, you, the reader, become the author’s companion as she tells her story.
We talk to our pets, doesn’t everyone?
I recommend this book to anyone who loves animals. Readers considering adding an animal may find it helpful. And those readers looking for a beautiful story to read will be delighted.
A Happy Truth will make an exceptional gift to someone on their birthday or at any other time.
Thank you, Daisy Hickman, for this beautiful example of what we can learn from our animal friends. 
Some people doubt that animals and emotions coexist, but it seems

we would have to be slightly oblivious to overlook the

endless and poignant ways in which they try to share

their understanding, awareness, and generous affection with us.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review and nothing more. Opinions expressed here are solely mine.
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