Sunday, November 10, 2013


I try not to make my posts long and wordy as I know you have so many to visit and not a lot of time.
..but this time I can't help it. :(  Sorry. 
I love reading and I always have.  I've just finished a book that was sent to me as a gift from a dear blogger friend, Lynne!  When Lynne sent me this book, she had no idea the personal connection I would have with it. 
I usually read historical novels, ones that are taken from much research, or diaries, that sort of thing.  
When I received this book and read the Prolog, I supposed it to be light reading..and even though I had read the reviews (I always do that) I didn't think it would hold my interest but I wanted to give it a try because my friend was so certain I would like it.  She loved it enough to send it to me. 
So I plowed ahead..
This isn't supposed to be a book review.  
This is..something else I guess...
I am the eldest of five children by about 7 years, so I was grown and married while my sibblings were still in grade school.  One of my baby brother's died at two and a half years old but I was too young to realize that death was forever.  (..and yes, I know the religous side of what I've just said and I do have faith..this isn't about that.) 
My mother went on to have three more children, two little brothers and my baby sister.
What I wanted to share with you, is that my youngest brother was in a horrible auto accident and was left a quad. 
His hands are in braces.  There are different levels of quads and his is not the worst, such as Reeves was, but his is not the best either. My brother can speak and with difficulty he can feed himself.  With his hands in braces, he can use a computer. 
I won't go into all he has been through.  I can't..but now I know it was much, much more than I ever knew.  I lived a couple of hours away so wasn't privy to the specifics.  I only knew his entire life had changed...and now I know I KNEW NOTHING! 
My brother was a woodsman..a builder of beautiful furniture.  He carved things, he was a craftsman.
Lumber was his career and he lost it all.  He can no longer build things.  I cannot even imagine his heartbreak.
He was also going through a sad divorce when it he had his world dashed already and was suffering when the accident happened..
This book took me into my brothers world...his heartache and trials and still doesn't even scratch the surface of what folks that suffer such debilitating accidents, go through. I wanted to scream when I realized the enormity of his pain. How alone he must have felt. 
Then while reading the book I received an alert from facebook (which I seldom ever go on) and he had written a couple of sentences about a religious leader that he admired.  She had died and he was saddened by her death and he said a few things about what she had meant to him and his life change..but what I read that killed me was "I found myself alone.  Completely alone!" 
Here I was reading this book..and then I read my brother's comment on facebook...on Friday.  I went into a bit of a tailspin and my brother was quick to excuse me.  I don't know exactly what I could have done but certainly it was more than I did.  It will take a while to forgive myself even though it was a long time ago.
I have NO idea, had NO idea what he went through, is still going through and always will.   I had a very large family and was up to my neck working full time and getting through my own life and assumed my brother was well taken care of.  In many ways he was..and yet...and yet..I wasn't there.  I simply was not there for him like I wish I had been!
I love my brother.  He is baby brother and this book enlightened me so much.  It's too late now, he made it without me. He is a very determined and strong man.  He was a determined little boy and I am glad he was.  My brother was retrained for computers, was employed by the  Government and was transfered to Texas. 
He eventually married a lovely woman from Canada and is happy.
They talk of moving back to California after he retires..I hope they do.  His children and grandchildren are here.
 He has a specially equiped car and has done all sorts of things such as skiing, basketball, and I believe he even danced. :)  They teach them a lot about survival. 
If you don't have a close relative or a very close friend, then what I am saying won't mean much to you.  However..this book is a riveting book.  I stayed up nearly all night last night to finish it.  Do not think this is a book for those interested in the handicapped.  It is not.  It's about love.
Thank you, Joyce.  This book enlightened me, made me cry, and laugh and added depth to my life.
That's about it for today.  Lots going on and I have a big family dinner to cook.  The kids are coming over and that always makes for a busy day with lots of fun to look forward to. 
Have a wonderful Sunday.


  1. what a wonderful story, so glad you read the book and even talked to your brother. i have a friend who's son was in a motorcycle accident at age 48 and is a paralyzed from the waist down. the stories she tells me of what he has to go through just to live amaze me. he has done all that your brother does to and also has a job on computers. he does have his upper body and it did not effect his speech.

  2. What a sweet friend to send you that book. Your Brother sounds like he is enjoying his life. It would be nice for him to live cloaer to you. I bet you both would enjoy more time together. Love you sweet Mona. Sending you a big hug!!!

  3. Oh Mona, even though you don't think you were there enough, you are such a warm and loving person and I am sure your bother always has known how much you love him and care. Such a beautiful post. Hugs, Marty

  4. You are just the light for my day. I enjoy your posting whether it is long or short. We have all had our times to laugh, times to cry and times to want to just run away. I am in one of my moods today I think. Hope you have a wonderful family day.

  5. We just never know what we just never know. Convoluted, but something to think about.

    Thinking about you and your big loving family,


  6. What a lovely friend to give you that book. You never know where things will lead. It was nice to hear from your brother and even better if they come back to live near by.
    I'm sure you had lots of laughs and fun at your dinner.

  7. Mona...I read this book several months ago and it stuck in my head and heart for the longest time. I am happy to see that it is gaining more and more popularity in the States.

    I am so, so sorry about what happened to your brother. He has suffered incredibly... physically and emotionally, but I was so happy to see that he went on to find love and happiness.

    In this book I truly hoped that love would prevail and they would magically ride off in the sunset somehow. A friend accidentally tipped me off that the ending was sad so I knew what was to come and I was angry. Until the end where the main character opens up about the pain and fear he lives with do I understand it's much more than "missing the things you can't do". I was able to accept his decision. And although I cried like a baby at the end when she is reading the letter, there could have been no better ending.

    This author has another booked called The Last Letter From Your Lover. I have it but haven't read it yet.

    Thank you for sharing your story.


  8. Mona- What a wonderful post from you. I hear your anguish and I know the pain of not being there when you are needed. I also know that you did the best you could under the circumstances. We cannot be everything to everyone all the time. I am sure your brother knew what your life was like and I am sure that he harbors NO resentment towards you.

    IF you were a cold person and not a caring, concerned person it would be completely different but you ARE warm and caring and you would never have intentionally let someone feel alone. You are way too hard on yourself....we always are, aren't we?

    God bless you AND your brother. xo Diana

  9. When you don't expect a book to move you like that one did, it can be enlightening for sure. Like you said, you didn't know what your brother had been through. Working, having a raising children and having losses like you could you know. Don't beat yourself up.....just get to know him a little better now. You are such a sweet person.

  10. Mona - you never never mentioned this before so I am surprised!

    I am so sorry about what happened to your brother. He has suffered... physically and emotionally. I was happy to see that he found his way and found happiness and found a love.

    It is never too late until it's really too late.


  11. Your brother sounds like an amazing man. He not only survived...he thrived. He could have stopped living a full life, but he didn't..he works, raised a family, found love..did so much more than many people who have all their capacities. Don't we wish we could be there for everyone in our lives at all times? That's not possible. You've been through many hard things in life too and I'm sure you could have used help from family or friends at times. Everyone's trials are different and hopefully we try to be there when possible. Your brother doesn't hold it against you and you can't hold it against you either. There is still plenty of time to do things for him and time to be the good sister you are. I always think that we regret the things we don't do in life so much more than the things we do. Does that make sense? Hope you have a good week Mona.

  12. Mona, your brother seems like the type of person who would not begrudge you for not knowing what he was going through and still does deal with on a daily basis. He sounds like a resilient and strong person and knowing what you do now may help with future communications. Don't be too hard on yourself because you should not beat yourself up.

  13. Mona, you are such a sweet kind person and I know your brother knew that you were there for him. He sounds like an amazing man. You are to hard on your self. Take care dear friend.

  14. You are such a kind and sweet person, Mona, and I'm sure your brother holds nothing against you. We all have a strong tendency to think back and see things we could have done differently. We all do the best we can at the time. That is all we can do. I'm happy to read that your brother found happiness with his wife and children. It will be wonderful if he moves back to CA and you can see him more often.

    I lost both my brothers and mother much too soon to a dreaded disease, ALS, and wish so much that I could see them one more time to tell them how much they meant to me. I think of things I should have done or said and I think that is something we all do. I do know they loved me and I know they knew that I loved them. I'm sure your brother likewise knows how much you love him! Be sure to tell him each time you talk or write to him.

  15. I am happy you were moved . . . in a direction I had no knowledge.

    Amazing isn't it how a piece of fiction can be life changing.

    For me I felt overwhelmed with the many times I have projected my feelings on to another. I felt differently after I read Me Before You.

    You are such a dear . . .

  16. I can relate to your feelings, somewhat, Mona...because of the death of my oldest sister, which you know about. I felt bad for years because I couldn't be with her as much as I wanted to. I was in St. Louis and she was in Florida. I absolutely hate it when MONEY is the reason that something is possible, or not possible. I couldn't afford to be away from my job, plain and simple. I know she understood that, but you know how it is in hindsight....As your other friends have said, we all do the best we can...and I'm sure, too, your brother understood then..and understands now. Hugs...

  17. I think that when this accident happened your brother had all that he could have thrown at him - the divorce, the accident, becoming a quad. I think he found a light at the end of the tunnel, something that gave him inspiration and hope.. and that light was this religious person that gave him this gift. This religious person made quite an impact on your brother, that when she died I feel he was more than saddened - he felt alone - just those words. He probably had great respect and love for her and isn't this how we grieve when we lose the ones we love. Perhaps when he felt completely alone the loss was more than his heart could bear. WE have all gone through such losses that have striped us bear and left us feeling alone in our time of grief. To read further and realize that the went on in his life to do all the things that were more of a challenge to him than to us without his condition tells me he is a survivor with loses in his heart, but he found a way to survive - he has a job, he has a wife, children and grands. He survived great loses and yet he gets on with his life. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned here by any that get it. Besides Mona, he married a nice Canadian girl, what more can I say. Have a wonderful day.....and just a thought from me - you take too much out on yourself with your losses - perhaps this was all meant to be for you to take a look at your own self, lift up your chin and have yourself and PH a good day, filled with the warmth and love of those round 'bout you for I know you are still struggling some days with your own sad thoughts - I'm glad your friend sent you that book.

  18. Mona this was a very heart warming and touching story. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  19. I will have to get this book. My brother had a major stroke that left him living in a wheelchair and paralyzed on one side of his body. I do try to go visit him as often as I can, we email and talk on the phone all the time. I think we have become much closer because of his stroke. Just because you were not in touch with your brother like you wish you were does not mean you don't love him. Now that you have reached out and talked, keep it up. Be there for him now. Brothers and sisters have a bond that reaches out far beyond miles :) Love you Mona! Joanne

  20. Hey Mona,
    Seems funny to write I am talking to myself. :-) only had a minute to pop in on you but I will be back...thanks for visiting..
    Love, Mona

  21. Your brother is indeed an amazing man. You must not feel guilty; no one can walk in the shoes of another and know about things they were never told. What an inspiring person he is. I know the book really touched you deeply as it would anyone in your situation. A touching post.

  22. Hi Mona...I have read that everybody is facing some sort of struggle in life. Your brother sounds like an amazing guy who has overcome a lot. I have had a little experience with that and it's a day to day battle. I commend him and his family. I know you are a wonderful sister so don't beat yourself up that you couldn't be there for him more. Looks to me like he has done well and so have you!

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