COLUMBIA - It's a common aspiration to want to write a book.
She's an unlikely author who's trying to help others to a happily ever after. The book that Dr. Valle Rischer wrote had nothing to do with dentistry. After 13 years of taking care of patients, Rischer's book is about how to take care of yourself.
"I'll have kids come up and say, 'I love your book.' And that makes me feel wonderful," explained Valle.
But her book isn't a fairytale. Her real life story begins with an unhappy ending.
"I really, truly didn't know if I'd ever be happy again. My husband and I wanted to have a baby. We got pregnant. Probably one of the toughest times for me was going through. I'm a dentist. I see people everyday and obviously I'm pregnant. 'Cause I'm at this point 28 weeks and people would come in and say, 'Oh you're pregnant,'" described Rischer. "And I knew there was a huge problem, and I knew that the baby wasn't going to live. The first time I went in, they couldn't see the baby's heart. Her name was Grace, and she had hypoplastic left heart, and that's where the left side of the heart doesn't form. I went into preterm labor at 32 weeks. After that, it was time to go home. And that was one of my toughest days going home from the hospital without a baby. You go home and you're just broken hearted."
Grace died two hours after birth. Valle and her husband, Jon, decided to try again, but they lost another child in miscarriage. After two losses, Valle received a condolence poem from a patient. It was a poem that inspired her to write a book.
"I'm reading this poem, and I'm just crying. But it's a good cry. For me, it answered the why. For me, it helped me so much I had to share it with other people. I could not keep it to myself," explained Rischer.
So, she wrote Angels on Earth. It's a simple 22-page one chapter book that tells the story of an angel who wanted to take a trip to earth so she could experience the love of a special family. Valle says it helped her to understand that a grieving heart is like any other body part. It, too needs time to heal.
"The book helps us talk about babies that die and children that die because sometimes I think it's taboo," said Rischer. "People say I hate to say anything because I don't know what to say."
A few years after the Rischers lost their first child, Valle became pregnant again.
"I had an emergency C-section. He was born at 29 weeks. Eight minutes of CPR. He was a very sick baby and we did not know if he would make it," said Rischer.
Christian survived. At four years old, he's known as the family's miracle. Christian also has a younger sister. Audrey is two. Grace Ann Rischer would have been nine years old.
Valle Rischer wants grieving families to know about her angel that needed to spend two special hours on earth. She hopes that simple explanation in one chapter will bring others closer to a happy ending.
You can find Valle Rischer's book in Columbia at "Dentistry by Design," Lemstone, or Village Books and in Jefferson City at Hastings.
The book Angels on Earth by Valle Rischer: is available at Lemstone and Village Books, and her office Dentistry by Design in Columbia. It is also available at Hastings in Jeff City.
Online it is available at www.tatepublishing.com , www.barnesandnoble.com and www.amazon.com
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