Saturday, December 11, 2010

Great book club read...

I am a social worker so I was quite interested in this book because of the title alone. I was hoping it wouldn’t be a predictable love story and it went far beyond my initial expectations. Barbara was an educated college professor who became extremely depressed after her children left home. The depression was there all along but she managed to “put on a face,” as a lot of depressed people do. Yet once the children were gone she began having difficulty “faking it.” She went to work and home. It wasn’t until her husband realized there were no meals on the table waiting for him that his wife of many years needed help.

Barbara was married but spent most of their married life being a servant to her husband and being ignored by him. His life was separate from hers and she never questioned him about the things he did. She just let them be sinking further into herself. He was the popular outspoken one and she wasn’t. She didn’t attend events he invited her to because it reinforced how far apart their two worlds were.

Barbara had a life most would envy. A beautiful home, good children, a successful husband and a prestigious career made up her world. Friends were few and that was good enough for her. Despite what she had Barbara felt lost. At the suggestion of her disconnected husband Barbara went to a therapist to get help. What would happen next was extraordinary and of course, unethical. Barbara begins to find herself where she least expected it. Her life began to change on the couch in her doctor’s office.

The author told a love story that was funny and quite vivid. I could see the roads that she drove on in New England, the diplomas on the wall in the psychiatrist’s office that she squinted to read on her initial visit, and the beauty that lay within Barbara’s gardens. At times I could see both her joy and pain. Ms. Rose has an amazing ability of grabbing the reader’s attention quickly and drawing them in. I found myself laughing out loud at the author’s humor and feeling sorry for Barbara in other instances. In the end, I applauded her growth as I do Ms. Rose’s storytelling ability. This is a must read and is a perfect book club suggestion or Christmas gift for the reader in your family. What are waiting for? Go to the link on my page and buy it!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

You see the rainbow?

I lost a friend last week that I've known for as long as I can remember. It is always hard when someone you know passes. Its especially difficult when their your age. It forces you to look closely at your life. He was a great guy and hero to many. He will be missed by those who knew and loved him. His death made me truly think about this life I am living. Am I truly living? I am doing my best and wonder... could be doing more?

My friend Heather is home from the hospital. They found a bone marrow donor for her. Thanks for all of the prayers but her journey is just beginning. Please keep praying for her!! She has had chemo and will be returning to the hospital for thirty days. After she comes home she will be in her room for over three months. Not in the rest of the home where her two little children are but in her bedroom. I spoke with her today. She informed me that although she felt better physically she wasn't doing well mentally. Heather told me that she's afraid. I informed her that there was nothing wrong with her being afraid. Its a normal and expected reaction to illness and especially to cancer.

I implored her to remain faithful. I also told her that being in her bedroom for over three months was better than not coming back home at all. As I told her, its easier for me to say looking in from the outside, but its true. Option one... never come home from the hospital. Option two... come home and be locked in my master bedroom for three months with a laptop/iPad, bathroom, iPod and television. I'm going for option two!

I am in no way making light of her situation because its dire. Her journey isn't over. Its just beginning. What I am doing is searching for the rainbow before the rain has stopped. I have learned to do that in life. I get up in the morning because I see the sun shining brightly through the clouds, in the fog and in the rain. I have to. I never used to and my life was a reflection of such. Once I changed my way of thinking and my view on what truly matters in life. Now I see the rainbow during NOT after every storm!

Please keep Heather in your prayers no matter what faith, religion or language you pray in. Pray that God comforts and keeps her. After this 100 day journey she will start living again. Make sure you look at your today and embrace all that you have. Remember the importance of loving yourself so that you can be a light in the lives of others as my friend was...

You see the rainbow? You know I do...

Supporting Minister Steve!

We went to see Minister Steve at the Gospel House Cafe on Thanksgiving weekend. He will be there again this month on the 26th. I know its the day after Christmas but its a great time. The Gospel House Cafe is a great place to bring family and friends for the holiday! If you're not out of town there is no excuse...

Come out and support Minister Steve at the IRBY Dance Center at 168 Irvington Avenue in South Orange, New Jersey!