August 2021

Everything I Have Is Yours

By Eleanor Henderson
Review by
Eleanor Henderson describes life with her husband and his perplexing array of physical and mental illnesses in this heart-wrenching and heart-filling memoir.
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How many of us married people really thought about what we promised in our wedding vows? We probably said that we would be united with our beloved “for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,” but we recited the words as a matter of tradition. Eleanor Henderson made those promises, too, but she’s made good on them. In her incredible memoir, Everything I Have Is Yours: A Marriage, she describes life with her husband, Aaron, and his perplexing array of physical and mental illnesses.

Everything I Have Is Yours goes back and forth in time from when the young couple met as artsy kids in Florida to their present-day marriage with two kids and a mortgage. Along the way, Henderson rises in her career as an author and professor while taking on caregiving duties for aging parents, young children and, increasingly, her chronically ill spouse. Aaron struggles to find his footing career-wise and faces a number of mental health challenges, including addiction and suicidality. It’s clear, however, that Henderson and their children are enamored with Aaron. This family has as much love as it does pain.

Readers should be aware that passages about incest are recurrent throughout the book, as well as discussions of suicide attempts. The descriptions of Aaron’s strange illnesses are vivid and unambiguous (including lesions, rashes and bleeding), and parasites, real or imagined, make many appearances. In many ways, this memoir is a compelling medical mystery, and anyone who is interested in the disputed existence of Morgellons disease will have lots to chew on here.

Ultimately, this memoir is about the depth of the marital bond. Readers may wonder, why is Henderson still enduring all this? But of course, we know the answer: She deeply loves her husband. Everything I Have Is Yours is not a traditional love story, but it is a love story—one as heart-wrenching as it is heart-filling. Reading it will prompt you to give the meaning of “in sickness and in health” a good, long thought.

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Everything I Have Is Yours

Everything I Have Is Yours

By Eleanor Henderson
ISBN 9781250787941

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