Chapter 1 1 I AM AMAZED that I am alive. Given the Crazy way that I lived my life, the chances I took, and the dangers I brought on, I should not be here. And yet, at age sixty, I sit at my desk, healthy and energetic, as I prepare to tell the remarkable story of these past two years. I feel compelled to tell you this story because I believe that it will illustrate the goodness of a living God. I also tell it because I still need to process what happened to me and my sister, and to Jessica and Patty. I see this story as the orchestration of four sisters whose lives became intertwined in improbable and seemingly impossible ways. It is a story of loss and gain. I lost a loving sister named Cooke (pronounced "Cookie"). Patty lost a loving sister named Jessica. Patty's loss gained me my life. Cooke's spirit inspired my life, just as Jessica's shining spirit inspired Patty. We are all joined together—not just Natalie, Cooke, Jessica, and Patty, but all humankind. Our dramas may seem separate, but my drama has brought me to an inescapable conclusion: that we are deeply and permanently connected. Those connections are exquisite multifaceted pieces, like gems in a mosaic. When we study each piece, we are enthralled. When we step back to see the mosaic in its entirety—the big picture of our lives—we are awestruck. I am awestruck. I am aware that it is only with God's grace that I am alive and able to tell this story.
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