My Glo­ry Was I Had Such Friends

  • From the Publisher
May 16, 2017

I am a Jew­ish woman who is alive at near­ly 30 years post-heart trans­plant in spite of a 10-year if you are lucky” life expectan­cy doc­tors gave me when I was a healthy 24-year-old law stu­dent whose heart suc­cumbed sud­den­ly to a virus. Now my doc­tors call me an n of one” — mean­ing that there is no one in the world like me — I am a pio­neer of sorts a remark­able breath-tak­ing sur­vivor and med­ical anom­aly. But of course this long and con­tin­u­ing jour­ney has had chal­lenges — enor­mous ones both for the girl I was at 24 and then for the woman I’d grown to at 50 when my donor heart final­ly gave out and neces­si­tat­ed seek­ing re-trans­plant across the coun­try from my home in New York: I had to go to a cut­ting-edge hos­pi­tal (Cedars Sinai) in Cal­i­for­nia leav­ing friends and fam­i­ly behind (my hus­band and I would take on the many months of bat­tle alone and far from home). But my friends would­n’t let that hap­pen. And so was born my lat­est book: My Glo­ry Was I had Such Friends. In this mov­ing and ten­der mem­oir about the pow­er of friend­ship and the resilience of the human spir­it I tell the sto­ry of the nine won­der­ful women who came togeth­er and nev­er left my side pro­vid­ing what med­i­cine alone could not as I wait­ed on the precipice for a new life sav­ing heart When my friends heard my plans there was only one reac­tion: I’m there.” Nine remark­able wom­en­put demand­ing jobs and press­ing fam­i­ly oblig­a­tions on hold to fly across the coun­try in a rota­tion to be by my side. Cre­at­ing a cal­en­dar spread­sheet the women — some of them strangers to one anoth­er — passed the baton of friend­ship one to the next rolled up their sleeves and head­ed straight and strong into the bat­tle to help save my life. Some­thing incred­i­ble hap­pened in that hos­pi­tal room. Tran­scen­dent even. Every­one — even doc­tors — thought I was going to die out there in Cal­i­for­nia. But see I did­n’t. And we who were there are all changed by what we wit­nessed and what we did — togeth­er as women friends made pow­er­ful by each oth­er and for each oth­er. My Glo­ry Was I Had Such Friends is my trib­ute to these women and the intense hours we spent togeth­er — hours of height­ened emo­tion and self-aware­ness where every­thing was laid bare. Can­did and heartrend­ing this once-in-a-life­time sto­ry of con­nec­tion and empa­thy is a pow­er­ful reminder of the impor­tance of show­ing up” for those we love.

Discussion Questions