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Dream New Dreams: Reimagining My Life After Loss
 
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Dream New Dreams: Reimagining My Life After Loss [Kindle Edition]

Jai Pausch

Print List Price: CDN$ 17.00
Kindle Price: CDN$ 11.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
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Review

'A brave and beautiful book. Dream New Dreams grabbed my heart from the opening page and didn't let go until its uplifting end. Jai Pausch is a stirring example of the power of life to triumph over any challenge. Bravo.' -- Bruce Feiler, bestselling author of Walking the Bible and The Council of Dads 'A touching memoir of grief ... Far from being a mere add-on to her late husband's book, this work stands on its own as an eloquent testimony of a caregiver.' -- Kirkus (starred review)

Product Description

A remarkably frank, deeply moving, and inspiring memoir by Jai Pausch, whose husband, Randy, wrote the bestseller The Last Lecture while battling pancreatic cancer.
 
"Jai is such a giver that she often forgets to take care of herself," Randy Pausch wrote about his wife. "Jai knows that she’ll have to give herself permission to make herself a priority."
     In Dream New Dreams, Jai Pausch shares her own story for the first time: her emotional journey from wife and mother to full-time caregiver, shuttling between her three young children and Randy’s bedside as he sought treatment far from home; and then to widow and single parent, fighting to preserve a sense of stability for her family, while coping with her own grief and the challenges of running a household without a partner.
 Jai paints a vivid, honest portrait of a vital, challenging relationship between two strong people who faced a grim prognosis and the self-sacrificing decisions it often required. As she faced life without the husband she called her “magic man,” Jai learned to make herself a priority to create a new life of hope and happiness—as she puts it, to “feel a spark of my own magic beginning to flicker.”
     Dream New Dreams is a powerful story of grief, healing, and newfound independence. With advice artfully woven into an intimate, beautifully written narrative, Jai’s story will inspire not only the legions of readers who made The Last Lecture a bestseller, but also those who are embarking on a journey of loss and renewal themselves.
 

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1097 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B009XN6PA4
  • Publisher: Harmony (May 15 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006E5125M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #203,107 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  78 reviews
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Other Side of The Last Lecture May 16 2012
By Jeffrey D. Kenyon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I was among those who watched Randy Pausch's last lecture on YouTube and bought the book when it came out. It was the story of an inspirational man who loved the life he built for himself, learned things along the way, and died too soon.

Jai Pausch's book provides another angle on the story. Her tale of being a caregiver is heartbreaking, and inspiring in its own way: taking a role you never wanted and would have done anything to avoid, but doing it to the best of your ability, trying to repair your life afterwards, and making the most of the opportunity in tragedy.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who has fallen into the caregiver role for a loved one, especially a loved one living with, or dying of, cancer.

The promotional materials compare this book to Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. Trust me, Dream New Dreams is a far, far better book. I found it to be not better written, but more affecting, more emotionally resonant, and more likely to be helpful to those in similar straits.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Life is a precious gift." May 19 2012
By E. Bukowsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Randy and Jai Pausch were married in 2000 and had three children, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe. In 2006, Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer "just shy of his forty-sixth birthday." He had surgery and aggressive follow-up treatment that left him gaunt and debilitated. In July 2008, Randy passed away. "Dream New Dreams" is Jai's poignant account of her relationship with Randy (whose book, "The Last Lecture," was a phenomenon), his two-year battle with the disease, and Jai's dedicated work on behalf of organizations such as the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

The author would like health professionals and society as a whole to be more "concerned about the people who struggle to carry the medical burden while also meeting everyday demands." She sees the need for a "network at every oncology clinic" to assist those who are trying to manage complicated cancer care at home. Jai and Randy were lucky to have concerned family and friends, a good income, and access to the excellent physicians. However, not everyone is so fortunate. There are too many relatives of cancer sufferers who feel isolated, bewildered, and overwhelmed with responsibility. Jai asks, "Who will care for the caregiver?"

Jai writes touchingly about her romance with a man who was "a serious [computer] scientist and an intellectual, but not a snob." Randy had a sense of fun and playfulness and swept Jai off her feet with his kindness and sincerity. After their wedding, the couple settled in Pittsburgh, where Randy was a popular professor and researcher at Carnegie Mellon. Jai was 34 and Randy forty when they started their family. Little did they know that they would have less than a decade together.

"Dream New Dreams" is eloquent, candid, and gracefully written. Jai makes clear that she and Randy were not saints who never exchanged a harsh word. There were bumps in the road and an occasional argument, but they understood one another and did what they could to nurture and protect their children during Randy's illness. This was no easy task. Randy had to travel to get treatment and he wanted his wife by his side. Jai lost sleep, had to take on arduous nursing duties, and became physically and emotionally exhausted. Fortunately, Jai and Randy developed a strong support system to assist them with the many challenges that they faced.

Jai Pausch leaves us with a hopeful message. Although she and her children will always remember Randy with love, they have begun the process of healing. In addition, they are following Randy's wonderful example of looking for the magic in life every day.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ouch. Oct. 16 2013
By Raychel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Yes ouch.

This book is difficult emotionally to read. Most of the book is very raw, and not surprisingly based on the subject matter, depressing. When I picked up this book and decided to read it, I guess I was hoping for something a little more positive than this ended up being. Not that I blame the author for this, this was her memoir chronicling her husband's illness.. however I didn't expect most of the book to be about that. With the title and description I thought this book would be more about picking up the pieces after the tragic too soon loss. In reality, only a few end chapters focus on dreaming those new dreams.

I appreciate her honesty through out the book though. It must have been extremely difficult to tell the story of Randy suggesting they put their youngest child up for adoption or reliving moments when she felt her control over life slipping away before having to regain footing as a caretaker of a sick husband and mother of three young children. This seems like a book that must have been extremely healing for her to write, to finally be able to tell her side of the story.

At the end of the book it is comforting to see that she is a survivor and that in spite of everything, she was determined to find her own path in life again. After going through such a horrible ordeal it is difficult to imagine how you can come back from that and is always inspiring to read the stories of those who do. However it is worth noting that Jai lived a life that is very different than the grand majority of people facing similar circumstances... she has the privilege of money behind her to deal/not deal with aspects of this type of loss that would leave many women in an even more vulnerable state.

A quick read, but this book falls very short from being inspiring and is extremely depressing.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for sharing your story Jai May 18 2012
By jydweston - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read Randy's last lecture and watched his video on Youtube. He was an amazing man. I cannot imagine losing him.
Jai was kind to share her story - it really resonated with me after my son lost his father to cancer. There is "the person on the other side of the fence" and her best advice is that you may think you are doing a great job at juggling so many things or making so many important decisions on your own but you are doing the best you can and you have to give yourself a break. It was truly encouraging to hear how she and her family emerged from their grief to find their own magic. Thank you for sharing!
This book is a wonderful read - you won't be able to put it down!
43 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Depressing Book Contradicts Much of The Last Lecture Aug. 2 2012
By Mediaman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This depressing book proves that some things are better left unsaid. The wife of The Last Lecture guy pulls back the curtain on what life was really like, and in so doing reveals a very different picture of the "perfect husband and father" that Randy Pausch wanted to be remembered as. It's hard to understand why she would write this--she tells things about him that are so private and demeaning that they tarnish his memory. Her new husband (her third) certainly must not feel good by how she states that Randy was the only person she experienced "magic" with and the only one to ever make her feel certain feelings. And I pity the children when they grow up to read this, especially the youngest who Randy wanted to give up for adoption!

I won't go through the list of things that are wrong with this couple but will say that I do not respect how they acted as parents. In one case she claims to struggle with whether to abandon her three small children for two months to become Randy's caretaker in far-away Houston or stay with the children. Never mind the obvious solution of bringing the whole family to Houston! Or using the money they have to get help (she states they were set financially for life and says they employed a nanny--so why not utilize what they already had to keep the family together?). She gives up on her kids and stays by her husband's side during treatments. Some will applaud this but it's hard to believe such highly educated people could not perceive the long-term damage to abandoned children, even if there were no short-term consequences.

And in the saddest section of the book she writes, "I don't recall Randy saying he missed the children during the time he spent in Houston." He was gone two months and never once said he missed his kids? That's just not normal and an indictment of a bad father. There are many other examples in the book where he was more interested in achieving his personal playful goals (with her support) while ignoring his children.

After about 50 pages I really didn't want to read any more. She certainly is putting her inner-most thoughts on paper, but it makes her very unattractive and unsympathetic. It's whiny and filled with self-pity, making her sound like a psychological basket case. She says her goal is to be a role model for those struggling with being caretakers and suffering loss, but instead she lacks the ability to inspire. Instead the book feels like a way for her to go through self-therapy while making quick money off his name. Randy, too, doesn't shine in this--he was a workaholic who was a control freak, cared more about intellectual solutions than feelings and left town for one week a month without prioritizing his family, not the ideal husband and dad.

It will, in the end, make you rethink The Last Lecture and realize that it was fantasy, like the Disney and virtual kingdoms that Randy was so fond of. The "secret" ending of The Last Lecture was that it was done entirely for his children--yet in one book their mother pulls the rug out from under them by not letting his memory rest in peace. His wife did nothing to improve his legacy but actually diminishes it by revealing very unattractive reality.

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