Dancing in Heaven – a sister’s memoir

Written by Christine M. Grote

“Even deprived of our most basic functions, a life can still lighten and inspire . . . A must for memoir collections focusing on disability and families of the disabled,” The Midwest Book Review, November 2012

Annie never outgrew the needs of an infant. She didn’t walk or talk. Her parents fed her, changed her clothes, and carried her in their arms from bed to chair and back every day of her life.

Annie rewarded them with her smiles.

“She’s the way God gave her to us,” Annie’s father said, “and we agreed to take on that responsibility,” adding, “She’s been a major pleasure to me . . .”

Christine Grote paints a vivid picture of her life growing up with a severely disabled sister, weaving her childhood memories through a riveting account of the last few weeks of Annie’s life.

When Annie was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in 1959 as an infant, doctors gave her eight years to live. Through their untiring devotion, Annie’s parents gave her fifty-one years of life.

Not until Annie became gravely ill and was hospitalized in the summer of 2009, did her mother concede with tears flooding her eyes, “Annie may be out of miracles.”

Grote’s memoir of Annie’s life and death is a story about strength, compassion, determination and unconditional love as their family adapted to Annie’s limitations and surrounded her with genuine love. But more importantly, Annie’s story is a testament to the basic intrinsic value of human life.

Grote “shares how everyone who crossed Annie’s path was touched and I was no exception . . . Through this book, Annie will continue to touch hearts just as she always did.” Leila Summers, author of It Rains in February a wife’s memoir of love and loss

Dancing in Heaven “Captures the combination of constant desperate waiting, dread, confusion and exhaustion you experience when someone you love is dying. . . The utter relief of hospice . . . Annie was pure love. In her helplessness, she was still able to radiate love. And her whole family responded to that in a heroic way.” Nancy Henry Chadwick, writer

“Beautifully conceived and beautifully written.” Ann Best, author of In the Mirror—a memoir of shattered secrets

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