Tuesday, February 15, 2011

'Song of Renewal' by Emily Sue Harvey

I just finished reading a wonderful book called 'Song of Renewal' by Emily Sue Harvey.

It's a story of love, hope, faith and finding one's own personal truth after tradgedy.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the story and all of the characters, I am moved even moreso that this book came to me at this pivotal point in my life. Several of the themes that run throughout this book parallel my life in so many ways! It kind of freaks me out and I can't help but wonder if perhaps God had this book land in my hands at this most perfect time. I'm sure it came to me for a reason.

As many of my readers know my mom passed away early last December. In the story a 16 year old boy, Troy, is killed in a car accident. His girlfriend Angel is in the car with him, but she survives this terrible accident. Angel suffers horrible injuries and is comatose for several months. Once she comes out of her coma Angel not only has physical healing to do but she also has to grieve the loss of Troy. On top of coping with this awful loss Angel has to accept the fact that her life is going to be so incredibly different in many ways. At one point Angel says that she feels as if the accident and Troy's death are almost 'like a dream'. She doesn't really 'feel' anything for awhile. Then finally Angel notices that when she recalls what happened she's starts to feel kind of sick...she calls it 'really bad homesickness.' I completely understood what she meant. I am at this exact same point in my grief. When Angel made this comment her doctor responsed, "You're still protected by the shock. The feeling--homesickness--means your emotions are beginning to reemerge."

Good Lord! That describes me exactly! I feel sad now, but at first I didn't feel much of anything, I was simply numb. I knew that it was my mind was trying to process everything I have been through. But at the same time I couldn't help but wonder if maybe something was wrong with me. Then finally I realized that I'm not only processing and greiving what I've gone through over the past few months, but I need to grieve what I've been dealing with over the past few years. Unless you watched a loved one decline due to Azlheimer's then you can't imagine how painful it can be. My mother's demise was a terrible gut wrenching life experience. However I was so wrapped up in caring for her that I never took time to grieve what was really going on. So I think my mind is making me take time to feel that pain now. I've learned that it's going to take a long time before I can heal.

Then the other parallel to my life relates to Garrison's career choices and the subsequent struggles. Garrison, Angel's father, is a successful graphic artist, but he isn't truly fulfilled because he gave up his dream of being a a professional artist to make money.



I have a successful home based business for which I'm very grateful. My business makes enough money to pay our bills and take care of our family. However, lately I fear that the passion I used to have for my work might be dimishing for me. All I ever think or worry about is money, money, money. And I hate that! And I believe the unhappiness I'm feeling is because I'm not creating for me...I'm not painting my vision. I'm painting name signs and wall plaques and step stools and growth charts. I'm drawing house portraits on a fairly regular basis. And I'm grateful...please know I am very grateful! But what saddens me is that every single doggone item I create is what someone else wants. Everything I create is another person's vision. Not mine. I simply want to take a break...chill out...relax...listen to whatever music inspires me at the moment and paint whatever I'm in the mood for. I want to paint what's in my mind not what someone else envisions.

BUT!!! The second that thought enters my mind I automatically retort, "Oh no! I can't do that because then I won't be making the money we need! I need to make money!"

So...just like Garrison I've given up my dream all for the sake of the almighty dollar. At one point in the book there is a quote by Henry David Thoreau:

"Most men lead lives of quiet despration and go to the grave with the song still in them."

In the book Garrison eventually finds his song. I want to find my song again. I need to find my song again.

And thanks to this book I've realized what I need. I pray for guidance to find my true path. I pray to find my own fabulous song...my own glorious music...my own personal lyrics.

And I've also learned that I need to let myself grieve and heal. I've finally given myself permission to cry not only because my mom is gone. But also because it really stunk to watch my loving, beautiful, strong, independent and highly intelligent mother literally lose her mind. I sat and watched her revert back to a small child who couldn't grasp the concept of handling money...she didn't understand the importance of a daily routine...she didn't know the importance of healthy eating...I could go on and on. 

While this story begins on a tradgic note as things progress you see how faith and hope hold the family together. Even though Garrison and Liza have their own issues to deal with they, along with Aunt Charlcy and Penny, rally around Angel while in a coma. As she slowly comes to consciousness they are constantly by her side.  Even when grief takes over and Angel becomes depressed they stick by her. They help her to realize that even though the future is always uncertain with great hope and faith all will be okay.

I'm so grateful that this book came to me. I can't help but believe that it was given to me for a reason. I have several pages dog-eared and I plan to go back and reread and absorb even more of the lessons that were presented throughout this beautiful story!

I hope I've piqued your interest. It was a wonderful read and it touched me emotionally on many levels. I'm sure in some way you'll find your own commonalities with the characters in Song of Renewal

More on the way...until then,

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