This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
In this powerful memoir, a young woman loses her husband twenty years after her own mother was widowed, and overcomes two generations of tragedy to discover that both hope and love endure.
Artis Henderson was a free-spirited young woman with dreams of traveling the world and one day becoming a writer. Marrying a conservative Texan soldier and becoming an Army wife was never part of her plan, but when she met Miles, Artis threw caution to the wind and moved with him to a series of Army bases in dusty southern towns, far from the exotic future of her dreams. If this was true love, she was ready to embrace it.
But when Miles was training and Artis was left alone, her feelings of isolation and anxiety competed with the warmth and unconditional acceptance she’d found with Miles. She made few friends among the other Army wives. In some ways these were the only women who could truly empathize with her lonely, often fearful existence— yet they kept their distance, perhaps sensing the great potential for heartbreak among their number.
It did not take long for a wife’s worst fears to come true. On November 6, 2006, the Apache helicopter carrying Miles crashed in Iraq, leaving twenty-six-year-old Artis—in official military terms—an “unremarried widow.” A role, she later realized, that her mother had been preparing her for for most of her life.
In this memoir Artis recounts not only the unlikely love story she shared with Miles and her unfathomable recovery in the wake of his death— from the dark hours following the military notification to the first fumbling attempts at new love—but also reveals how Miles’s death mirrored her father’s death in a plane crash, which Artis survived when she was five years old and which left her own mother a young widow.
In impeccable prose, Artis chronicles the years bookended by the loss of these men—each of whom she knew for only a short time but who had a profound impact on her life and on the woman she has become.
Important and Moving
As the sun came up I sat at a dining room table with tears streaming down my face finishing the book I had brought on a trip to visit my in-laws. Hours before I had attempted sleep unsuccessfully, lying awake thinking about the soldier whose life had ended too soon in Iraq and the woman who was left bereft and wondering why. I stayed up all night to get to the end hoping for closure, but the last page was only the beginning. For weeks I kept thinking about my wife, the life we've built together and how incredibly fragile it is. I thought about war and how deeply I now felt the human cost that families across the country shoulder everyday. And I thought about Artis Henderson and the courage it must have taken to write such a brutally honest memoir. I have rarely read a book that so profoundly impacted me. I think every person in congress and the White House should be required to read it. So important. So beautifully written. Emotionally devastating. But mostly a reminder of what's really important in life. I cannot recommend it more highly.