Sunday, 15 February 2015

I Hope You'll Judge My Book By It's Cover

Sometimes, all of a sudden I think, “Oh yeah, he’s not there.” and my stomach burns; my heart aches. Mike has always been there. I met him when I was 18, I married him when I was 19, and for almost 27 years, he was there, now he’s gone. I’m totally lost without him. When he left, a part of me left too and the rest of me is just kind of wandering around.

I never feel alone though. God is very close; He is so merciful. It’s the first thing I said after Mike passed, I told my sister Elanna, “God is so merciful.” She agreed. The Bible tells us, God’s mercies are new every morning. I’m convinced they are new every minute. During my “mourning”, His mercy carries me.

Merriam-Webster defines mercy like this: a blessing that is an act of divine favour or compassion, kindness or help to people who are in a very bad or desperate situation. And another source defines it: the disposition to be compassionate and forbearing.

God is rich in mercy and He is love and this is how I move on.

On Friday, I went to a workshop downtown. It was a public speaking workshop for authors of Influence Publishing. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I signed up anyway (I need all the help I can get when it comes to speaking in public). Although it was exhausting, I’m really glad I went. I whole heartedly engaged with the other authors and I feel like I made some new friends, but I only half heartedly participated in the various exercises … I had to be reserved. I could only give so much.

The instructions of one exercise, was to state our name, the name of our book and to give a very short description, all in thirty-seconds. This is what I said, “It’s a ‘stay positive in difficult times story’ about my husband Michael Sands, who was diagnosed with ALS in March of 2011, and our journey with terminal illness. It’s about giving thanks in every circumstance, having faith, being hopeful and bottom line, it’s about love! My book is called, ‘Hold On, Let Go - Facing ALS with courage and hope. And my name is Nadine Sands.”

The first time I said it, I started with my name and title. We all practiced reciting our scripts in different ways and after saying it a few times, everyone got better, stronger, but my hard exterior started to crumble. I chose to not participate in the three minute speech to elaborate on the description of our books at the end of the workshop. I wanted to tell my new friends more, I really did. I’m passionate about our story, about Mike and his incredible attitude and grace in the face of death but I knew I’d have to tell about his recent passing and even though I could share that with the ladies at my table and with a few people one on one, I couldn’t say it to the whole group … standing at the front … with a microphone. 

I would have liked to tell the group how my book is based on my blog, ALS With Courage. How I felt called to start my blog in order to keep family and friends informed of Mike’s brave battle and how unexpectedly, it became an amazing outlet for me. I would have said that we clung to faith, hope and love while we let go of everything and while we let go of everything, we gained exceedingly more than we could have imagined. Perhaps I would have told them about a few of my most memorable blog posts (most memorable to me) like, ‘Mike’s Glass is Half Full’, ‘Grasping at Straws’, ‘Hold On and Let Go’ and Mike's 'Ahoy Matey'. I want them to know that Mike contributed to the blog as well and how he always inspired our readers to keep looking up and how he made them laugh. I would have explained that while the book is about a courageous guy fighting for his life, a disastrous debilitating disease, the interweaving of sorrow and joy, and a journey of grief, it’s really mostly about love. 

You don’t have to go further than the cover, to know that my book is a love story. I hope you will judge my book by it’s cover.

I’m without my Valentine, but not without his lingering love and the incredible, unchangeable, unfathomable love of God. And His mercy carries me… 

I think Trista from Influence Publishing did a fantastic job designing my book cover ... it's far from what we started with, but I can't imagine anything else. This look defines my book ... it's a look of love. (Pre-sales now on Amazon - released April 2)

The link to my book on Amazon -

I invite you to “Like” my new Facebook page - Hold On, Let Go/ALS With Courage

Next time, I'll post pictures of Mike's memorial well.


  1. Nadine, you are an incredible and strong woman! I was privileged and blessed to be at your husbands wonderful celebration of life and it truly touched me. All you need is LOVE! I cant wait to read your love story!! God bless.

  2. Thank you Anna. I appreciate you being at Mike's service and I appreciate your lovely message. God bless you!