Jul 7, 2011

Two Kisses for Maddy

Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love by Matthew Logelin

My rating: 5 rating

Overview from goodreads: Matt and Liz Logelin were high school sweethearts. The pair settled together in Los Angeles and they had it all: the perfect marriage, a beautiful new home, and a baby girl on the way. But just twenty-seven hours after they welcomed Madeline into the world, Liz suffered a pulmonary embolism and instantly died, without ever holding the daughter whose arrival she had so eagerly awaited.

Faced with devastating grief and the responsibilities of a new and single father, Matt coped by returning to the small blog he had created to keep friends and family updated on Liz's pregnancy, which today has become a place for him to share with over a million curious readers the day to day of two lives bound by loss and love. But there is more to his story than just raising a daughter alone: Matt Logelin is an extraordinary human being. Having been sustained through tragedy by the kindness and generosity of strangers, he is now dedicated to helping others in difficult situations by reaching out and inspiring those facing loss or adversity.

I wasn't sure how to start this review. Mostly because this story is so tragic and beautiful, and heart-wrenching, that I wasn't sure I'd be able to convey how much it moved me. I knew the story of Matt, Liz, and Madeline - I'd visited his blog, and I'd read some guest posts he'd done. But this book - I definitely didn't know the story here. I read this book in one night. I sat down and just...kept reading.

Matt dedicated this book to his daughter - he wanted her to be able to know who her mother was. This book shows that. Matt talked about Liz's quirks, her laugh, her career, her love for him, and for Madeline. He didn't hold back - and the fact that he shared this story - the good, the bad, and the ugly, so his daughter could read this one day, blows me away.

Matt talks about how life sometimes deals us shitty circumstances - and he doesn't pull punches when it comes to dealing with them. Giving Liz's eulogy he started with, "This fucking sucks." And it does. He's not toting his story as something to garner sympathy, he's sharing it to help others - including his daughter - deal, and realize that life can go on.

At one point Matt talks about the reactions people (especially mothers) had when he told them what happened, and he says he thinks the women see their partners in him, and it scares the shit out of them. I agree. I saw a lot of similarities between my husband and Matt. The fact that Matt takes Madeline to do things Liz would have done - even if it's spending money on clothes she'll soon grow out of - because he wants her to still have those experiences? Definitely something Ben would do.

But while Matt and Ben are similar, the amount that Liz and I had in common is uncanny. Matt talked about the kind of music she liked - the set your teeth on edge pop stuff, (me too), and how he didn't feel right about deleting her TV shows on the DVR, even though it was crap he would never watch like The Hills. (I've seen them all). When he mentioned Liz's ambition and ability to hold her own in a corporate setting and how that was so not him, it made me smile because the first time I told Ben I was going to a happy hour with co-workers he laughed and called me "a suit."

I picked a day to post this review - and then realized it was 7/7 - and that was Liz's favorite number. I felt so connected to Liz throughout this book, but when Matt talked about her birthday (the first one she wasn't there for), I literally gasped out loud. Liz and I share a birthday. I know I will forever think of her every September 17th.

To say this story moved me doesn't do it justice. It's life with crazy ups and downs - and the best part is the incredible man and father Matt Logelin is, and how even though Madeline won't grow up with Liz, she will definitely know her.


Megan said...

I just finished this book, and I really liked it. It was heartbreaking, though... I had to remind myself that this really happened to someone, and it happened in an instant. It reminded me not to take little things for granted.

Lexilooo said...

I recently read this book, and sobbed through most of it. I've read his blog here and there, but not regularly, and I knew the background, but I was definitely not prepared for how much the book would move me! I began reading it at bedtime one night and knew that I couldn't bring it to work to read on the metro and at lunch!

Amber said...

This is the second really good review of this book I've read. I definitely want to read it asap!!

That is crazy about all the similarities between you and Liz!!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I have been wanting to read this book for a long time, esp since I have been reading his blog since the beginning pretty much. I can't wait to read it and am not sure why I haven't picked up a copy yet. The writing on his blog is amazing so I have no doubt I will love this book as well.!

Mandy said...

I really, really want to read this book now.

Lucy The Valiant said...

This is one of those books that I can't read. Literally. If my husband sees me sobbing my heart out over a book, he takes it away! And he's a lot taller than me...

But it sounds wonderful!

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