I’ve been out of town for the past week to celebrate my mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day with my family, so I didn’t have time to get a brand-new profile post put together. But rest assured, there will be one next week! A few weeks ago, I chatted with my friend Staci Grosser about what it’s like to parent a child with autism, and I’m excited about the post(s) that will come out of that conversation.
Anyway, for this week, I thought I’d talk about one of the other stories I’ve written in the past about people who live well and serve others. Well, actually, it’s a book. In a past life, I helped people write their stories, memoirs, biographies, or whatever you want to call them. I want to highlight one of those here, because the story is inspirational.
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Seven years ago an editor called me up and said something to the effect of: “You remember me telling you about that movie called The Vow that’s coming out next spring? And we have the book rights to it?” Yes, I remembered. “Well, do you want to write it? You’ll have about six weeks from the time we get you all the info until we need the final draft.” Um, what?!
Six weeks is a very short amount of time to write a book, even if most of the information is already available to you in written form. However, my response was: “Do I get to meet Channing Tatum?” (He was playing the lead in the movie opposite Rachel McAdams.) “Nope.” Dang. “Ah well, I’ll do it anyway.” I mean, why not? My name was going to be on a book with a couple of movie stars on the front. Who would say no to that?
So the publishing company sent me the manuscript from an earlier version of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter’s story, and they put me in touch with the couple to help fill in the gaps. It was a whirlwind experience, and while I can’t necessarily say I loved every second of it (because I was crazy busy), I did thoroughly enjoy it overall, and the Carpenters were extremely nice and easy to work with.
If you’re not familiar with the true story, the nutshell version is this: Couple gets married. A few months later, Couple is in a bad car accident. As a result of brain damage, Wife cannot remember the past few years of her life, including meeting and marrying Husband. Therefore, Husband must get Wife to fall in love with him all over again.
What I just wrote are the only things the book and the movie have in common. As is typical when Hollywood gets hold of a true story, drastic changes were made to the story details in order to make it what they consider to be more marketable and dramatic. I personally think they should have left it alone.
So what was changed in The Vow movie? The couple’s names, jobs, location, pasts, family situations, friends, interests, and the circumstances surrounding the accident were all altered. But the biggest difference was that all references to the couple’s Christian beliefs were removed from the movie, even to the point that their wedding didn’t take place in a church.
In reality, the main reason the Carpenters tried to make it all work is because they were both Christians and knew they had made a vow before God to stick together for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for the rest of their lives. Kim was determined to continue to love the woman who could not remember him and whose personality was forever changed. Krickitt chose to be pursued again by a man she had no memory of ever meeting, much less marrying.
Kim and Krickitt’s story is truly inspiring, and they held nothing back in the telling of it. They were brutally honest about the trials they endured and the temptations they both faced that made them want to give up. But they stuck with it. They kept their vows (unlike the couple in the movie).
I won’t tell you the entire story here, because that’s what The Vow book is for! Even if I hadn’t been involved in the creation of the book, I would recommend it to anyone—female OR male. Although it is associated with a chick flick and is a love story, it’s one that transcends the typical rom-com storyline. Plus, it’s written from the man’s point of view, because Krickitt can’t remember much of their story.
And if you want to watch The Vow movie, I won’t stop you. As far as chick flicks go, it’s a good one. Just don’t expect it to be anything like the book!
Each week I upload a post profiling someone who lives well and serves others in everyday and extraordinary ways. If you want a reminder, I will be sending a weekly email update with information about new posts and resources.