Friday, August 19, 2011

A word from my better half

Frequent visitors here know how much I love to read.  I list all the books I read on my Shelfari bookshelf to the right on my blog home page, and also have my all time top five list on my blog profile.  It's just one of the joys of my life.

I share this passion with Wife.  She is in two book clubs and earlier this year, both clubs read Laura Hillenbrand's book, Unbroken.  Ms. Hillenbrand also authored the book Seabiscuit.

Wife told me I really, really needed to read Unbroken. I had greatly enjoyed Seabiscuit years ago and Wife assured me  this one was every bit as good. 

Wow, I was not disappointed.  The story is one of courage, redemption and faith and I was awe struck from start to finish.

This week Wife had the privilege of meeting the subject of the book, Louis Zamperini. She sent an e-mail to her book club members describing her visit and was kind enough to share it with me. I told her I thought my blog friends would enjoy it and she said she was glad to share. Unfortunately, I was not able to join her.

I know some of you have read this book and I hope you enjoy Susan's personal account here.  If you have not read it, you should defnitely put it on your "to read" list. 

So here's a word from the boss:

Dear Friends,

I wanted to e-mail you all to tell you about a wonderful experience that I had today. I know we were all so moved by the story of Louis Zamperini in Unbroken. Louis is 94 now. He is traveling, doing a lot of speaking now. Unbroken was the summer reading book for MBA this summer and Louis came here and spoke this morning to their students.

The guy who travels with him around the country is a USC grad who was an Olympic swimmer, John Nabor. John is a college friend of our friend Marc Albright. John contacted Marc and said he was going to be in town and wanted to know if they could meet this afternoon and visit and meet Louis. Marc had just read the book based on Bob’s recommendation. Long story (sorry), Marc invited us to join him and Judy to meet Louis. So all that to say, I just returned from sitting at the airport for an hour visiting with this amazing man!

What a treat and an honor it was to meet him. There were four of us and we literally huddled around him to hear his stories. He was so gracious and answered questions in a strong voice and did not seem to tire of talking at 94! What a memory he has for details! He says he memorizes a lot, especially scripture. He gave us a lot more details of his conversion and walk with Christ that were not in the book. It just gave me chills.

Marc asked him about when he met Hitler – Wow! How many people are still alive that have met Hitler! I could go on and on about what we talked about but maybe I can tell you more when we meet again. The most important thing was how he spoke about his faith. He said that every time he escaped death he knew there was something bigger than him protecting him, but he didn’t understand it until he was converted and realized how God has used the story of his life to reach others. It was just amazing.

The whole experience just WOWs me! I met a man today who is an Olympic athlete, almost was the man to run the first 4-minute mile, met Hitler, survived bullets by inches in a plane in WWII, survived 45 days floating in a raft 1000 miles in the Pacific Ocean, was a prisoner of war, and on and on, but a man who was so humble and talked mostly about his walk with Christ! It was just a tremendous honor.

He talked a lot about Laura Hillenbrand and the seven years it took to write the book. He also said when they started she interviewed many, many people, including 17with whom he had served in the war and in the camps. The last one of those 17 died last month! Time is precious!

He is writing a book based on Romans 8:28 and how his life has been spared many, many times starting with a house fire when he was 18 months old from which his father rescued him. He told us that he lives by that scripture and told us stories of breaking his hip recently and how God used him in the hospital to witness to the doctors and nurses. I wish each of you could have been with me! Sorry for such a long, long e-mail but I just had to share this experience. I feel very blessed this afternoon.

Love, Susan


Kelly said...

What a wonderful opportunity to meet this man!!

I have only heard good things about this book so I know I will read it sooner or later. In fact, I think I'm going to order it now as a gift for my husband since I know he would love it, too.

Thanks for sharing this, Bob!

quid said...

What a marvelous anecdote about a real American hero. Your wife has a right to be enthusiastic about the opportunity she had.

Unbroken remains the best book of the year, for me!


Steve H. said...

Thanks for sharing that amazing letter!! Its now set Bob, after I finish my current book...I'm reading "Unbroken"