Love, disability, and suicide prevention are the themes that run through the book My John, I Was his Sunshine, by Debra L. Smith. Yet this biographical work stands as a tremendous and true love story between a mid-life couple despite many odds.
This is a breezy yet bumpy ride through two lives and a romance, with just enough detail to describe the couple involved and feel their relationship growing. We follow from the beginning of almost a surprise relationship through shyness, reticence, boldness, and practicality. “Beshert” seems evident, though so much work is still required to build something beautiful. We see a person hampered by chronic pain and disability surmounting great difficulty to free himself to love and be loved, and we see his partner freeing herself as well. Two lawyers willing to risk so much.
We feel the thrill of planning and nurturing a middle-age adventure through professional difficulties and triumphs as well as the emotional and physical ones.
We ride a small but jolting roller coaster with this couple, whom I actually know in life and am glad that Debbie Smith has written this book. I heartily recommend this “Story of Love, Loss, and Prevention,” as its subtitle asserts, for anyone who likes jumping into a slice of someone’s life, and also for medical and psychiatric professionals who have known individuals in these sorts of situations and maybe have not fully understood which direction to take them.
Is suicide preventable? It can be, and quite a few medical, legal, some practical, and always loving methods are put forth in this book.
Well worth the read. And worth supporting Ms. Smith’s ongoing efforts, detailed at the end of the book, as well.