STILL HOLDING HANDS: A Granddaughter's Portrayal
Stacie Ruth Stoelting
Stacie Ruth Stoelting is the daughter who we all pray to have. Raised in the heartland, she is just completing high school and is involved in enough activities to keep any three people busy: acting, Christian music, and sports. Oh, and writing, as well. It is through Stoelting's writing that we truly learn the depth of her character and, more importantly, the strength of her faith in God.
The inspiration behind Stoelting's memoir is the affliction of her beloved grandfather, Ray Beamer, with Alzheimer's disease. The insidiousness of the deterioration that an individual experiences secondary to this disease is devastating, not only to the patient but also to his or her family. Stoelting's account of her grandfather's decline is honest and straightforward, and is made all the more poignant by the accounts of her memories of Beamer during her childhood. The grief that Stoelting and her family experienced as they watched their family patriarch slowly slip away must have been devastating.
Her family however, as portrayed in STILL HOLDING HANDS, has a deep and abiding belief in God. As noted on the book's back cover, Stoelting believes with all her heart that God is a God of love and that she has been given the gift of faith. Indeed, her Dedication of this book is to her Best Friend, Jesus Christ. While another individual might have been left with bitterness, or hopelessness, Stoelting channeled her sorrow into helping others similarly afflicted. This remarkable young lady, in addition to her book, maintains a website for caregivers of Alzheimer's patients and gives presentations concerning Alzheimer's disease to public interest and public service groups.
Stoelting is an example to all of us --- young and old --- an antidote for the despair that seems to be all too pervasive in our current time. STILL HOLDING HANDS is a testament to the proposition that deep and unshakable faith will see one through the darkest of times. Highly recommended.
--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
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