Available now from Harper Audio.
From the Publisher:
“A powerfully emotional and irrepressibly joyous at the things that matter most.
Susan Spencer-Wendel’s Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy is a moving and inspirational memoir by a woman who makes the most of her final days after discovering she has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
After Spencer-Wendel, a celebrated journalist at the Palm Beach Post, learns of her diagnosis of ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, she embarks on several adventures, traveling to several countries and sharing special experiences with loved ones. One trip takes Spencer-Wendel and her 14-year-old daughter, Marina, to New York City’s Kleinfeld’s Bridal to shop for Marina’s future wedding dress – an occasion that Susan knows she will never see.
Co-written with Bret Witter, Until I Say Good-Bye is Spencer-Wendel’s account of living a full life with humor, courage, and love, but also accepting death with grace and dignity. It’s a celebration of life, a look into the face of death, and the effort we must make to show the people that we love and care about how very much they mean to us.”
From the review in Audiofile Magazine:
“With upbeat pacing and wry humor, narrator Karen White reflects the author’s unbroken spirit and ever present wit while her wistful tone conveys all the pathos of the situation without ever becoming maudlin. White’s moving presentation helps realize Spencer-Wendel’s ultimate wish for her incredible book “to make people laugh and cry, and hug their children, and joke with their friends, and dwell on how wonderful it is to be alive.”
My recording experience:
Oh, oh, oh. This was One of Those Books. One of Those Books that changes your life. One of Those Books that, as a narrator, you just hope you do it justice. And you do the retakes again and again until you’re not crying because you know that the author wouldn’t want that in there, because she’s not crying. She’s smiling.
Although I’ve recorded a pile of memoirs, it was a particular gift to record this one. For so many reasons. But the top of the list was that Susan couldn’t do it herself. Many writers choose not to record their own work, for all kinds of reasons, but this time someone had to be Susan’s voice, and truly truly I was so honored that I could do this for her. Because what I received in return were Susan’s words echoing in my head. Smile. I am alive today. Live with joy. Words that have continued to echo for me everyday since I read them in December. I am inspired by Susan to be present in my life, with my kids, with my husband, and to enjoy dog kisses as much as I want to. I think you will be, too.
Listen to a sample here:
- Dying South Florida Woman Authors Life Affirming Book (miami.cbslocal.com)
- Mom of 3 with ALS lives out bucket list ‘with joy’ (todaynews.today.com)
- Reporter faces life’s toughest deadline with book (usatoday.com)
- Joyful Book Tapped Out With One Thumb (abcnews.go.com)