Joni Eareckson sat in church one Sunday. She became distracted from the service. Although she had bowed her head for prayer, she hadn't participated in it. She couldn't concentrate on the guest speaker.
Up five or six pews sat a man for whom Joni wound up praying. He moved his head slightly. She could see his tight jaw and his tanned neck. She got the idea that he might be bored like she was. She prayed for him in each area of his life. A few weeks later at one of her speaking engagements, she met him. His name was Ken Tada.
They dated for fifteen months. One day Ken accompanied the Eareckson family to a lake. On that trip, Ken proposed. Joni said, “Yes.” They had some questions-dealing with quadriplegia, with her fame, his teaching career, her global traveling. But she loved him and he loved her.
Several years later, Joni developed intense pain in her torso. Ken felt overwhelmed. He started planning his weekends as a time of rest for himself. Joni then realized she had a lump in her breast. Mammogram and biopsy, mastectomy, recovery, and chemotherapy followed.
Shortly after her Cancer diagnosis, Ken had this thought torment him: This could be a death sentence. I could lose her.1 (p. 136) He couldn't shake that thought. He told one of Joni’s caregivers that he would take over more of her care.
Ken had attended a men’s fishing retreat in Montana for a few years. While on one of these, he heard God speak to him “Joni is the most precious gift I have given you. You take care of her .2(p.132)
As Joni finished chemotherapy, she developed a symptom of another illness. This syndrome, due to her quadriplegia, made it more serious than most. This caused Ken to help her in a most unusual way. During his caring for her, she actually Ken minister to her in a very special way.
I enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to anyone who has read Joni’s other books, anyone who works in home healthcare, and anyone who deals with quadriplegia in their family or among their friends.
Each chapter begins with either an inspirational quote or a passage from the Bible. Reading this book makes me more aware of the issues involved in caring for a disabled family member.
I received this book through BookSneeze® free of charge. All they asked was that I give an impartial review.
* written with Larry Libby
1.) Page 136
2.) Page 132