Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Letter

Pat Tillman has intrigued me since I heard about him giving up his NFL career to embark on a military career.  I can recall watching some story that aired during an NFL game that I just happened to catch a glimpse of.  My husband filled me in a bit further on Tillman's backstory and I was simultaneously impressed and intrigued.
When I heard of Pat's death it seemed incredibly heartbreaking, but almost as though this ending was to be expected, elevating him to legend status, at least in my mind. 
Jon Krakauer's book Where Men Win Glory, delved deeper into Tillman's story, and I quickly devoured it.  When I saw that Tillman's widow, Marie, had also written a book, I was eager to hear her side of things.
The Letter is certainly a personal account of her relationship with Pat - from its beginnings when they were children in California and just knew of each other to them meeting and dating in high school.  Marie shares personal memories, letters from Pat, and how she dealt with his loss and eventually moved on.
This is a fast read and moves along quickly. After reading Marie's story about her life with Pat, and his desire for her to LIVE in the event of his death, I am more impressed than ever with Pat Tillman. Marie does not make him out to be perfect or without flaws - she shares of a time when Pat was in high school and was charged with a crime - but she also shares how seriously Pat reflected on this time.  If anyone thought that Pat Tillman was just a "dumb jock," Marie shares the discussion she and Pat had with Pat's brother about various books they all read and talked about. Marie's books gives Pat Tillman even more depth as little known bits and pieces about him are revealed.
As I was reading, the thing I was most amazed about was the number of years that had already passed since Pat's death.  For Marie, writing this book may have been cathartic. For me, the reader, it was a beautiful look at a person who felt compelled to make a difference in this world. Pat Tillman will not be forgotten.

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