From the eyes of a mother, Ellen Rogers takes on the role of author and shares the heart warming journey that her family (and extended family...including old and new found friends) has seen and lived through over the past view years. Each sunrise welcomed and sunset witnessed is a testament to their strength and willingness to do what needs doing in order to make the most of each and every day. Their story reaches out to touch both your mind and your soul. You can't help but feel for all of them as they struggle to make sense of something that is in its very nature senseless as their world is torn apart at the seams. Misfortune dogged them at every turn, but they kept pressing on, moving forward, looking for the next hand hold no matter how small in order to make progress.
It's hard to say anything "bad" about this type of book as it's not a work of fiction; it's someones life story. That being said though, there are two points that I would like to briefly comment on. They are more along the lines of observations in the presentation or perhaps small lapses in the story shared that I being the insatiable reader that I am would have liked a bit more detail. First up, the junction of chapters 1 and 2 where we take a flying monkey sized leap from Ned's accident right into....the life and times of baby Kasey. Yep. That was pretty much the transition. You are in one place one moment and then dropped into the other the next. This may be something that was cleared up in the final print copy (as I was reading my ARC of the book) but as it was, a tinge on the choppy side.
*WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILER AHEAD -- PROCEED WITH CAUTION* The family never gives up on trying to find ways to increase Ned's quality of life and one stop along that journey was the Shepard Center in Atlanta. It's a rehabilitation hospital of sorts, among the best according to the text. During his stay at this facility, his mother has to leave for a week or two to get things together at home for his eventual arrival and move life along for the rest of her family. When she leaves, he's still hard at work on increasing his levels of movement and communication the best he can. When she returns...he can talk. Grant it, it's slow and garbled but he can talk when he couldn't and was pretty much told he would never again...and the story moves on. The only thing that I wish could have been different was any sort of explanation as to what changed during those two weeks as opposed to the prior two and so on that he was able to make this remarkable step forward. Don't get me wrong, I was relieved to see such a huge positive change in his favor...but my curiosity begs to know a bit more. *SPOILER OVER -- PROCEED*
When all is said and done though, a remarkable read overall. It was truly a pleasure to share in their experience and one I won't soon forget. Recommended reading for anyone seeking a look at a life being lived most remarkably as well as some great information on an organization I hadn't heard of previously....Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled. It's a rather interesting non-profit that aims to place specially bred, trained, and skilled capuchin monkeys with those suffering from spinal cord injuries or other mobility impairments; a cause certainly worth exploring.