September 23, 2012
I really enjoyed reading Laura Roppe’s book Rocking The Pink. It is a story about her journey with breast cancer and how it inspired her to follow her dreams. I love her honesty in a compelling and humorous way, allowing me to laugh at the darker aspects of life, while recognizing the grief of it. Her story to becoming a rock story reads almost like a fairy tale, except of course the big C wood. Laura writes in a witty way about people and life’s circumstances, sharing her experiences without every criticizing other people. I enjoyed her positive stance and her strive to follow her heart in a way that considers other people. Her relationships with her husband, daughters, cousin and fellow cancer survivor, Jane revealed her loving and kind manner and made you love her all the more.
I connected to Laura’s story by her illness, her dreams and her positive aspect. Though I can’t say I share the successful rock star life, it doesn’t prevent me from dreaming of making a difference through writing. I was inspired by her ability to find the very best in her close relationships and made me love my husband all the more for his love and support. Having two daughters, I connected with the motherhood piece, the fear of not being there, not giving enough, and balancing your own dreams. I generally feel less alone reading the stories of others experiencing some kind of medical crisis, learning from their ability to capture their feelings, hopes and fears. So thank you Laura for sharing your story through your book and music.
September 11, 2012
I was so captivated by The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande that I read the entire book in a day. Great opportunity for a day of heat and ice to ease my chronic pain while reading an amazing book. Reyna is a great story-teller, having the ability to put the reader into the story, visualizing the scenery while feeling the strong emotions and conflicts that Reyna struggles with. Her story is a difficult one to hear, separation from parents and siblings, betrayal, abandonment, physical and mental abuse, poverty and lack of the basic necessities. However, Reyna continues to hope for something more, to be loved, to learn from her experiences, to have opportunities and to find the positive in difficult situations. Her sister, Mago, is her lifeline at many times. Giving unconditional love and support at such a young age. Reyna takes us back to her history, sharing the culture of Mexico and her long transition to America. She brings us to her childhood state, while also sharing of things she sees more clearly as an adult.
Reyna is an amazing writer. I would highly recommend her book. I am hoping she will also continue her story as I would love to hear about her life after graduating from college.
August 28, 2012
I love reading books about physical recovery. It inspires me to keep healthy and fit in spite of challenges and continue to move forward even when I have set backs. I also learn new medical information, resources and coping methods. The Long Run is a great read about an elite athlete and firefighter who was involved in a bike accident (he was hit by a bus). Even though he wasn’t expected to live, he miraculously began the road to recovery. Matt shares both his struggles and milestones in an honest and compelling way. I was captured by his story, moved by his pain and encouraged by the people who supported him. I was also amazed by the body’s ability to not only heal itself, but how Matt Long was able to still push his body to the limit. Though the struggles didn’t end, he found a way that helped him continue to live in spite of his new circumstances.
Though I personally haven’t seen the healing that I would hope for, I believe that growth is essential to my well-being. I must strive to move as much as I can each day to help my body heal. Even if my day or my week makes it difficult to exercise or accomplish what I wish, I must avoid dwelling in self-pity for too long. In general I love being active when my body is feeling well. I enjoy a walk, a run, a hike, playing soccer with the kids, lifting weights, doing yoga and racquetball. What can be harder for me is finding the time and energy to exercise when so many things in life seem to jump in the way or I have too much pain. The most consistent way that I am able to exercise is when I involve my friends and family in my activities. This keeps me from being isolated and becoming depressed. When involved in personal exercise like running, it is generally best done in the morning. Rarely do I come away feeling worse than I did before exercising. At times the pain can increase or my symptoms will intensify, but overall I will feel better in the long run. It is always helpful to remember that others have been here too, and I can press on. Thanks Matt for sharing your story.
July 9, 2012
I always enjoy reading Anne Lamott. She honestly shares about the joys and challenges in life, and trying to be the person she wants to be. In her latest book she writes about her first grandson and her love as a grandparent. She talks of her desire to be less controlling in the way the parents decide to raise their child and to be open to the changes in her relationships. Her son, Sam Lamott shares his experiences as well with being a new farther, balancing work and school, and growing up with more responsibilities.
I love the introspection that comes with reading a Lamott story. Anne and Sam have a way of bringing you into the story and evaluating the way you think and behave. It brings more awareness to my own life and the times where I prefer to hold on to what was instead of following the path given to me. I highly recommend her books.