By Allie Pleiter
It would have been amusing, had it not been so scary.
The romance author getting amnesia. Amnesia is such a romance “staple” that my editor joked about issuing a press release. It’s an amusing story now, the tale of my episode of Transient Global Amnesia in June of 2010. Back then it was one more layer to an overwhelming pile of stress and chaos. One of the most dramatic and unusual things to ever happen to me, and I don’t remember most of it.
I woke up one morning missing big chunks of facts and completely unable to process new information. I knew who I was, but not what year it was. I knew my son was sick, but not that my daughter was away at camp. My son and I had been through enough medical trauma—he was in chemotherapy for lymphoma at the time-that he knew some smart questions to ask and was woefully familiar with how to call an ambulance. I was rushed to the hospital on stroke protocol.
We still don’t know what caused it. I could bore you with the medical details, but it basically boiled down to my asking the same 12 questions over and over every five minutes for about twelve hours. Fifty First Dates, only real, frightening, and beyond tedious. I cringe when I think about it, and I don’t even remember it.
We’re both absolutely fine now-my son and I-but the amnesia jokes follow me to this day.
What I’ve never forgotten is the bone-deep fear of not being able to trust your brain. Missing big chunks of who you are, the disorientation, the worry that it could happen again. So it was with a wry smile that I accepted the offer to write A Ranger for the Holidays — a story about a Texas Ranger with amnesia. It didn’t take much imagination to take the much smaller trauma of my 4 day ordeal and spin it up into Finn’s tremendous burden. After all, I had a loving family and a bright-if stressful-life awaiting the return of my memory. I lost mere details. Finn loses a whole life-and one he senses won’t be pleasant when it returns.
What can you do for a wounded hero like that? Give him a wonderful, hope-filled, determined heroine, that’s what. Amelia, Queen of Christmas that she is, turns out to be the best antidote to Finn’s soured life. Throw in an adorable dog, and who can resist a heartwarming holiday love story?
Not you, I hope.
While I have forgotten much of those four dire days, I remember many wonderful Christmases with my family. What are some of your favorite holiday memories?
Award-winning author Allie Pleiter recently celebrated her millionth book sold. An avid knitter, Allie spends her days writing books, buying yarn, and avoiding housework. Her career spans three non-fiction books, over two dozen novels, and national speaking engagements. Visit www.alliepleiter.com