Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy (Paperback)
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 toseveral countries and sharing special experiences with loved ones. One trip takes Spencer-Wendel and her fourteen-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.
Susan Spencer-Wendel was an award-winning journalist at the Palm Beach Post for twenty years. She holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Florida, and has been honored for her work by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Florida Society of News Editors. She received a lifetime achievement award for her court reporting from the Florida Bar. She lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, with her family.
Bret Witter has co-authored eight New York Times bestsellers, including the #1 bestseller The Monuments Men. He lives with his family in Decatur, Georgia.
“Susan Spencer-Wendel had to face the question, ‘What would you do if you had a year to live?’ This profound, tender, and often funny account of her experiences will remind readers of what really matters most: love.” — Gretchen Rubin, New York Times-bestselling author of The Happiness Project
“It’s a touching and brutally honest account of one mother’s inspiring attempt to get the most out of the time she has left.” — USA Today
“Her honesty and frustration are underscored with a wicked sense of humor . . .” — ABC News
“All you can do . . . is to turn the pages, slack-jawed, in awe at her insistence on having powerful, individual experiences . . .” — Huffington Post
“This heartbreaking and heartwarming good-bye will make you laugh as much as it makes you cry. Susan Spencer-Wendel’s determination to find the joy in life after having been dealt the ALS card is both inspirational and enlightening.” — Cokie Roberts, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters
“Spencer-Wendel writes with courage and strength. . . . Her life will sadly be cut short, but in writing her story, she shows her family and friends how to go on, choosing happiness and love over fear.” — Publishers Weekly
“. . . almost unbearably moving chronicle of how Spencer-Wendel went about creating lasting moments in that year for the ones she loved . . .” — New York Daily News
“A poignant, wise love story.” — Kirkus Reviews
“The inspirational account of a woman whose ALS diagnosis and subsequent physical decline don’t prevent her from enjoying life to the fullest, which she proves.” — O, the Oprah Magazine
“The tales are painfully honest, and they’re heartbreaking because we know the inevitable outcome. But mostly, they’re inspiring. Spencer-Wendel, even in the darkest of moments, remains insistent on happiness-staggeringly so.” — U.S. News & World Report
“Her heart-ripping book chronicles what she did immediately after her diagnosis: she decided to embrace life while death chased her down..…endearing and all too human” — New York Times
“The mother of three children ages 7 to 15 describes her poignant last efforts to travel the world and stay close to her family and community.” — AARP.com