Happy Valentine’s Day! February is ‘Heart’ month and a good time to talk about ‘matters of the heart’ as experienced in my life and in my writing. Back in September, my husband, Allan, who shares this website, literally dropped dead on the tennis court. A tennis friend performed CPR while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. His quick actions helped to save Allan’s life.

Two months later in November, as a writer and a participant in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I decided to write my memoir. A 50K word first draft in 30 days. I decided to title my memoir, A Heartfelt Journey, since not only did it deal with his heart attack but how it affected both of us– a journey, an emotional roller coaster ride we were both on. The writing was a great therapeutic exercise with some soul-searching. Every great memoir can ‘teach’ the reader something like the importance of being ‘heart-healthy’ and ‘how your heart works.’ It can also ‘reach’ out with something the reader can relate to. In order to do that the author needs to be honest. I learned how important it is to be independent. Slowly, I’m getting there. It’s so easy to rely on someone else– someone who loves you, takes care of you. Allan has always taken care of the finances–numbers has never been my thing. But he has been pushing me to learn these things. So many women do not know the passwords to get into accounts on their computers. I used to be like that. I’m still learning. This memoir is still in its first draft. It definitely is worth revisiting, revising. It is nearly 6 months since his heart attack and triple bypass surgery and he’s doing well and so am I!

Each month in this journal, I will review a book. Last month, I read Where the Crawdads Live–a novel. This month, I have a new recommendation. A few months ago, I was looking through the new book section of our library and came across a brand new book about heart disease– State of the Heart by Haider Warraich ISBN 978-1-250-16970-9, available hardcover and Kindle.  From the cover “exploring the history, science, and future of cardiac disease.

This is NOT a technical teaching book with all kinds of fancy medical terms, rather a whole collection of stories from this cardiologist talking about his patients and their various forms of the disease. His triumphs and failures. He covers the history of heart disease going way back in time, the medical pioneers, the drugs, the procedures, the failures, drug trials, women and heart disease, the problem in diagnosing a heart attack even while in the hospital ER, the new medical devices and drugs entering the market, etc, etc.

My husband read ‘The State of the Heart’ during this month–February, the month of love. Quite appropriate! I’m so grateful that he’s alive, that his HEART is beating strong, and his brain is thinking sharp and clear, (continuing to remind me to be self-reliant.) It could have been so different.

So on this day of LOVE, give your someone special a kiss and a hug! I know I am!