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The Long Awakening by Lindsey O’Connor is a memoir dedicated to Lindsey’s youngest daughter, Caroline Aileen. This book is a story of Lindsey’s 47-day coma just after giving birth to Caroline, her journey of her recovery, and that of her family’s.
I have 2-3 pages of little bits from the book that touched my heart. After three pages I stopped because I would have an incredibly long review if I wrote about all of my notes. For the sake of this review, I will just touch on a few more important ones.
Let me start by saying I really enjoyed The Long Awakening and found myself reading faster to see what how Lindsey’s story ended.
First, I am always impressed when a family rallies around one another and does what needs to be done through difficult circumstances, such as the O’Connor’s 47+ day tragedy. For example, Lindsey’s oldest daughter postponed college in order to stay at home to take care of her baby sister. This is something no parent wants to force on their oldest child, but the fact that Jacquelyn decided on her own her baby sister needed to be in their family home and not “farmed” out to another home to be cared for showed her love, devotion and sacrifice to do what was in the best interest of not only Caroline, but the whole family.
Jacquelyn’s intuition about her sister Allison was amazing too. I loved reading about how she got her little sister to open up and showed her it was ok to cry, to grieve over what had happened to their mom. The O’Connor’s must have been so proud of her.
Secondly, Lindsey’s family had so much support, love and help that it was a sweet testimony to one nurse in particular, who said, “she’d never seen people come around a family like that.” They had a church that put love into action – for the long haul.
I’ve been taken to emergency surgery during a couple of my miscarriages, but I never uttered the words Lindsey did when she was being wheeled away:
“Please take care of me. I have five children now.”
Weird, but I felt guilty. Granted her situation was completely different but still. It’s amazing what another woman’s story can illicit from my own soul.
I could not have been as calm as Lindsey was when she found out she had an emergency hysterectomy. Listen to what her response was:
“Why does this matter? Uterus in, uterus out. A little rain. Get out the umbrella. I had no use for that body part anymore.”
Not having been in her situation, I can only imagine how I would have responded. I guess this was the least of her concerns at the time. More important matters had her attention, such as, communicating, moving, holding and bonding with her baby, getting her life back.
I could go on for another 500 words, but the last thing I wanted to share had a profound affect on me was when Lindsey spent two hours tapping a spoon against her bedside table only to be ignored. The reason they found out later was because this was a physical quality brain damaged people exhibited. Lindsey’s words were:
“I lay brain damaged and didn’t warrant a response.”
That made me so very sad. The hospital staff heard her but ignored her. Thank God she had her husband advocating for her!
I highly recommend this book. It will make you cry, but Lindsey’s story is a must read. Talk about triumphing over huge hurdles!
“Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”