Details from Audible:
The night I met Cade I never would’ve thought that two years later, after we were homeless street musicians in Hawaii, we would have a little girl and another baby on the way. Our son was born with the type of birth defects that make televangelists cringe. As his health waned, my own breath evaded me, as if I was the one who needed the ventilator for life support. The death home gave him a really nice funeral, the kind I’d never wished to attend. When they tried closing his casket, I nearly fell on my face, not wanting them to shut the lid on my baby.
We lost it after that, totally cemented in our grief. Cade got into drugs, joined a rock and roll band, and even grew out his damn hair. At the time, I was sick of the oatmeal option (the only food we had), so I kicked Cade out of the house, and started modeling and working as a diesel mechanic. That was how I met Earl, an old man and unlikely best friend; the “Big Sag,” a middle aged woman who still flashed folks; and “The Cowboy” a man who fell in love with me.
It was slow at first, but Cade reverted to the man I’d busked with years before. It wasn’t until I killed a rogue skunk, and my daughter nearly choked on a fry, that I gave my husband another chance. But could our marriage recover from the death of our son?
©2011 Elisa Morris (P)2013 Elisa Morris
I was lucky enough to read “Bible Girl and the Bad Boy
” (also by EC Stilson) first. I already enjoy the author’s writing and since this is a continuation of her life, I was familiar with her and the other people who I knew (or at least strongly suspected) would turn up in this book. I will say, however, that the reader should be prepared, this is a tough story to listen to because it deals with the death of a infant and the personal struggle the mother, father and family go through (obviously with focus on the mother, as she wrote the book). I enjoy non-fiction and finally finished listening to this book last week (as usual from Audible
, always good).
As per usual I won’t go through the whole book, just give my general impressions/thoughts. That said if you don’t plan to read the book now, I will give away some details, you’ve been warned. I think like a lot of people have some desire to learn secret knowledge, generally this doesn’t have any effect on my life because I know it’s wrong to read someone else’s private thoughts and I don’t do it. Elisa, however, is very brave and incredibly honest here by sharing her diary or the period of a about 1.5 years and letting you know her deepest and most private thoughts.
For a while I just enjoyed hearing someone so honest about everything in her life (well not a description of her sex life but I imagine that very few women would ever put those details down in a journal/diary), it is kind of a voyeuristic thrill. Soon, thought, when her baby, Zeke, is born and has severe complications, the thrill is gone and you see what a mother/wife/daughter goes through in this situation. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing at all, just a big shift for me as I listened.
I really felt for Elisa, not having children myself I’ll never know what it’s like to lose a child, the closest it has come for me was losing my father last year to cancer. That was heartbreaking for me but her suffering is almost beyond my comprehension. The book shows what an incredibly strong person Elisa is, never losing her faith in God, cherishing every moment she has with Zeke, making the agonizing decision to let him go and then carrying on for moments without Cade, her husband, being around.
We go through the grieving process with her of losing her child, see that piled on top of money problems, having to work, her father getting sick, a great test to her faith, having a car accident, dealing with old boyfriends, public criticism, the usual family issues and what she believe is the end of her marriage (thankfully they work things out by the end).
I am continually impressed by Elisa’s attitude towards others, while she sometimes lashes out (understandable considering the huge of pressure and stress she went through), she always apologizes for those times (to those who deserve it). She never judges others by their appearance, religion of lifestyle choices. She displays great kindness looking after a neighbors child and a still manages to make others happy during this terrible sad time in her life.
There are a lot of sad, emotional moments in the book but there are also some funny, touching and lighthearted ones. I think she is one of the most unique people I’ve read about, from working as a model, to a waitress to a diesel mechanic, at a camera store and putting on showers with her husband (she plays the fiddle) and even playing with his band, she is truly a jack of all trades (jill of all trades?).
Ultimately this book is about coping to grips with your thought and feelings, dealing with loss, finding joy in life and going after what (or who) you want. She can be stubborn and headstrong, but ultimately does accept help and advice from those around her and shows the meaning of strong person. The book is divided into sections and each other brings us along the important parts of this year and half (basically before Zeke is born, his time in hospital, his death and Elisa’s mental and physical recovery). The narrator does a good job and I enjoyed the short entries. She does reference years (and seasons) but not exact dates for each entry, I wonder if she had these dates and choose to leave them out. As this was written when she was 19 and 20, sometimes the entries are a little less polished that others. I also found the book a little long in spots. I also must add that I really enjoyed at the end how she gives an update on herself (and Cade of course) and all the important people mentioned in the book. I was glad to hear she is doing well, as is her Dad (who had cancer in the past). I give this a solid 8 out of 10 and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys non-fiction. Due to some of descriptions of Zeke in hospital I would say ages 13+. Be prepared for an emotional journey, with sad moments, but one that will ultimately teach you about dealing with loss and how to find happiness in your own life.