"Many thoughts, emotions, and memories of Oklahoma City and Boston flowed through my Mind."

Hamel is a survivor. Framed around three significant events in American history and a teddy bear, the author's story poignantly recounts traumatic moments of love and loss. As he shifts between time and place, Hamel revisits unforgettable physically and emotionally painful situations that shaped him as a person and compelled him to reconcile with grief.

Retired after more than thirty years of active Air Force duty and over one hundred marathons completed in all fifty states, Hamel recalls his dedication as a runner while confronting substantial incidents on U.S. soil. He explores the long-term, damaging effect of the Oklahoma City bombing and simultaneously the failed fertility treatments with his wife, Gloria. The couple laments their unborn child while mourning the loss of numerous children in the bombing. After 9/11, Hamel is once again haunted by a child's death when eight-year-old Martin Richard dies in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. He vividly recounts the unyielding dedication, touching remembrances, and fury of emotions when finally competing in the 2014 "Boston Strong" Marathon.

In the book's second half, Hamel shifts focus a bit to his earlier years. He candidly recalls the emotional upheaval of overcoming a breakup while losing opportunities to be a father to the woman's young son. He observes his distinguished career in the Air Force service, a Korean child, and meeting Gloria—all while finding a path forward to accepting heartbreak. Hamel fills his book with consequential times, dates, and numbers, explaining the meaning of "4:09" and "9:02" in the process. Color pictures effectively highlight the author's life and the momentous episodes that motivated him to write this story. Hamel's heartrending book celebrates one man's personal challenges while inspiring others to do the same. It is a cathartic read that beautifully commemorates tragedy and triumph.

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