LISA NIEMI and PATRICK SWAYZE were married for thirty-four years. They first met as teenagers at his mother’s dance studio—he was older and just a bit cocky; she was the beautiful waif who refused to worship the ground he walked on. Through the years their marriage strained under the pressures that many do, but it was always a uniquely passionate and creative partnership.
When they first exchanged vows, Lisa promised to be with her husband “till death do us part.” But how many couples stop and think about what that truly means? Worth Fighting For is a remarkably candid look at what losing a partner really entails—how to care for him or her, how to make it through each day without falling into despair, and how to move forward in the second half of your life when the person you spent the first half with is gone.
For the first time, Lisa Niemi Swayze shares the details of Patrick’s twenty-one-month battle with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, and she describes his last days, when she simply tried to keep him comfortable. She writes with heartbreaking honesty about her grief in the aftermath of Patrick’s death, and she openly discusses the challenges that the years without him have posed.
While this is an emotionally honest and un-flinching depiction of illness and loss, it is also a hopeful and life-affirming exploration of the power of the human spirit. Lisa shows that no matter how dark the prospect of another day may seem, there are always reserves of strength to call upon. She writes, “I tell you, I am a different person now. One who has been thrown into the fire and forged.” Like The Year of Magical Thinking and A Widow’s Story, this book is both a tribute to a marriage and a celebration of the healing power that each day holds, even in the most difficult of circumstances.