The Picture On The Back Of Joe Biden's Memoir Has A Heartbreaking Story Behind It

Mike Coppola/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images; Joe Biden/Twitter

If you're like me, whenever you see a book you're interested in reading, you flip it over to see what the back cover has to say about it. But if you turn over Joe Biden's new memoir, Promise Me, Dad, you won't find any blurbs or publisher's copy, just an aged photograph of a little boy in shorts and a baseball cap. The picture on the back of Joe Biden's memoir has a heartbreaking story behind it, so get your tissues ready.

On Dec. 18, 1972, Joe Biden's first wife, Neilia, and their three children were involved in a fatal car accident. Recently elected as a U.S. Senator for Delaware, Biden had already moved to Washington in anticipation of his swearing-in. As Neilia and her children — Beau, Hunter, and Naomi — were returning home with a freshly picked Christmas tree, a tractor-trailer struck their station wagon. Neilia and 13-month-old Naomi were killed, and Beau and Hunt were injured. According to the Daily News, Biden "took the Senate oath of office at [his sons'] hospital bedsides in 1973."

In January 2016, Biden spoke to Popular Mechanics about how much of an impact his sons — who were only toddlers when Neilia and Naomi died — had, not only on his recovery from the death of his wife and daughter, but also on his continued health through the years:

Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden, $16.20, Amazon

Biden writes further on the impact of Beau's absence in Promise Me, Dad. Upon returning home after Beau's death in May 2015, "Jill wanted to go to our dock as soon as [possible]," according to Biden's memoir, because "it made her feel more connected to Beau [to be] at a place he loved so deeply." While there, the Bidens saw a white egret on the other side of the lake, and Jill confessed that she had told their son, during his final hours: "Go to a happy place, Beau. Go to the dock, with Hunter." The egret remained near them for several minutes before flying away, at which point Jill called the bird "a sign from God . . . Beau being at the lake one last time, and heading for heaven."

After the incident at the dock, Biden could not sleep, and so he began putting away some things that had been moved during a recent renovation.

From the memoir:

Joe Biden's new memoir, Promise Me, Dad, is available Tuesday wherever books are sold. The audiobook version is narrated by the author, and is available exclusively on Audible.

Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden, $16.20, Amazon