Sunday, March 3, 2013
a good book.
Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected
Author: Kelle Hampton
Age Range: adult
Genre: non-fiction, memoir
Cover Score: ****
Overall Score: ****
Rating: PG-13 (some language)
Ms. Hampton writes her story of dealing with the first year of her daughter's life. After years of waiting for marriage and a family she's finally living her ultimate dream. Her first daughter, Lainey, is a darling two-year-old blond and mom has so many plans for the girls when she finds out a younger sister is on the way. Late night giggling, boy talk, weddings, all of the things Kelle had shared with her own sister. But at delivery, she knows instantly that something isn't right and is devastated to learn that little Nella has Down syndrome.
What unfolds is a journey through the ups and downs of new motherhood, for though she already has a child she is navigating all new waters and circumstances complete with blood tests, therapy, additional health risks, support groups, conventions, awareness, hormones, and so much more.
She talks about her dreams of a white picket fence and all that went with it and having to re-imagine her future and dreams when that fence was leveled. She finally came to the realization that her fence, when it was re-built, was multi-colored, brightly painted and far more joyous and amazing than her plain old white one had ever been.
I'm impressed with her give 'em hell/kick ass attitude. She felt pain and ran the gamut of emotions from guilt to sorrow to fear to doubt and everything in between and she allowed herself to feel all of them, But she didn't dwell. She basically decided it was up to her to create a new life, a mosaic with the shattered pieces she'd been left with.
I can't relate to her circumstances but I found myself relating very strongly to nearly all of her emotions. We've all had dreams go up in smoke, been devastated by an outcome that was different than one we'd planned, been afraid of the unknown and what the future might hold and felt frustrated and helpless when faced with things outside of our control.
I think this quote nicely sums up the overarching theme of the book:
Pain has a way of pulling you forward to a surprising place of "I didn't know I had it in me," and while you think there is no way you will ever make it through in the beginning, you do. pg 237
This was one of those books I hadn't planned on reading. As I walked past the new books shelf at the library the other day it practically jumped off the shelf and into my hands. (I have a huge testimony of this phenomenon but have yet to give it a name...suggestions?!) I firmly believe it was what I needed to read this week. I cried through most of it and ached for her. And I ached for myself almost as much. My life has not turned out the way I had planned and hoped. I'm struggling to come to terms with this new reality and realize the potential of the pieces I've been given, to figure out how to win the game I didn't plan on playing. I'm hoping to take a piece of her attitude and determination, put it in my pocket and carve a place for it in my heart so I can learn to face my challenges with the same courage she's used to face hers.
She opened with this quote by Mary Oliver:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
I think I will be taking this on as a personal mantra.
I highly recommend this inspirational read to mothers and women in particular but really to anyone who is going through challenges of any kind. You'll be touched by her story, I promise.