Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Flying back in time and a book review x

It's been hectic in the Doyle house, phew!  You see tomorrow night we’ll be boarding a giant metal bird that will carry us across the ocean…..home….to Australia.

It’s amazing when you think this 400 odd ton of tin, that’s held together with nuts and bolts and rivet’s can even get off the ground! I like to believe all the love and excitement and spirit that will be on board, in the souls of the passengers help to get her off the ground. :)

And a few days after we arrive it will be my beautiful Mum’s anniversary.

And its weird, but in coincidental ways that sometimes just seem to pop up, I’ve been sent a book to read and review called ‘Under the mesquite” by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. I didn’t get any money for doing this, just the thought from the publisher that this book may be endearing to some of my readers, something they can relate to that might help them.

The book is fictional, however is based on the author’s experience, losing her mother to Cancer as a teen.

Under the mesquite” is about a young Mexican American girl, Lupita, who has to come to terms with her mother being diagnosed with cancer. It’s aimed at the young reader market, however I found I could relate to a lot in this book. It’s eloquently written with vivid descriptions of emotions that anyone who has lost someone could identify with.

There’s Lupita’s emotional challenges weaved inside the story as well as the courage she has to find to accept that her mother is dying. Something I could definitely connect with. She also touches on the trials and the complexities teenagers face while going through such a difficult journey.

In one part she states – “Everything’s wrong,” I say, wiping my eyes with the back of my hand. “My mom’s sick and she’s not going to get better.” I wasn’t planning to tell him about Mami, but once I start, the words stampede out of me, a herd of untamed horses breaking out of an unstable corral.”

The book is written in a verse style, like a poem and is easy to read.  The words flow and I found I finished this book in a few hours.  But the memories it provoked and the places it took me back to were comforting….and I like that about a book…I felt I could’ve written it about my experience of losing my mum!

So on Monday, I sat in my car in the sunshine, outside Dempsey’s school, waiting for the school bell to chime…reading and waiting and reminiscing with “Under the mesquite” on my lap.

In one part of the book Lupita describes how she's scared about her mother dying…how she wants everything to be back the way it was. And it’s true, we do want things to be ‘as they were,’ but that’s an impossible dream….

The author seems to touch on a lot of these yearning’s we have when faced with impending loss….and does so in a way that reinforces that these feelings are normal and part of the transitions we go through to reach a place of healing.

However further on in the story as Lupita works through her grief, she comes to understand that she’ll always miss her “Mami,” but that she’s going to be okay. She finds comfort in the mesquite and writing, where she can fill pages full of memories and hope, because she finally realizes, “that’s what Mami would’ve wanted.”

And that part of this beautiful book made me smile and sigh and forced a few tears to roll down my cheeks…inside my car…on a warm Fall afternoon….because that’s what every mother wants, for their little ones… be happy.  Whether they’re here or not.

I know if I had a phone line to heaven, that’s what my mum, who I miss so much would say to me today….to be happy and enjoy life, to have courage and not be afraid of anything that I might encounter on my journey.

And as written inside the pages of this book, like Lupita, whether you know it or not, you are stronger than you think….you put one foot in front of the other….no matter what…with hope….

So tomorrow night, we’ll be flying through the night skies to the land Down Under.

I know Mum’s anniversary next week will take me back to that roller coaster time of watching mum fade away….and will bring some always will.  However, I’ll also think back to some treasured moments I had the privilege of spent with my mum, where we talked about life and love, and that will warm my heart.

So last night, as my beautiful daughter and I cuddled up under the throw rug on our couch, talking about dinner with my dad, and how she’ll be playing tag in the garden with her cousins, Demps asked what the weather will be like in Australia........

I clicked on my iPhone app and studied what the weather forecast is there…Dempsey looked over and stated…

“It looks mainly sunny Mummy, but with a chance of rain!”

And I had to smile as I cosied up with her and added “Yes Precious, a lot like life…..” :)

PS; if you’d like to read more about the book “Under the mesquite” you can click on this link...I'll catch you from Oz :) x


  1. Beautiful reflections -- I'm glad you shared that book and how it related to your experience with your Mum.

    How exciting that you are off to Australia! Do you stay there for half the year? I can't remember.

    And I loved Demps' observation of the weather -- sun and rain do pretty much sum up life.

    I hope you have wonderful times with your dad. xo

  2. Lovely Louise!

    Thank you for your well wishes. I can't wait to see my family in Oz!! :)

    We're only staying unitl after xmas so I hope to manage a few blogs while we are home..a taste of Australia I hope.

    Thanks for stopping by as always, I was surprised and thrilled to receive a lovley email from the author who read this piece so that's made my day.

    I'll be checking in from down under on Bloom! :)

    Love and a hug to you Louise as always. :)
    Diana x

  3. That book sounds like a lovely read! Have fun Down travels!!

  4. Diana,

    This books sounds like a great read for me. With the holidays approaching, I need all the inspiration I can get!

    Have a safe trip!


  5. Happy Thanksgiving in Australia ~ namaste, Carol ^_^