A Rare Look at a Common Occurrence
“Raindrops had frozen from
branches, like suspended motion.
The day is suspended too, between winter and spring.”
There are rare and beautiful books and this is one of them.
The author moves from a deep winter of the soul to a spring
where she can again appreciate life, the love of family and the
feeling of just being alive.
Through the pain of her loss, Carolyn Kent Bailey learns that
even the Tulips come back into bloom after a long winter. That
in the spring, there is renewal and hope.
When Carolyn decides to undergo a hysterectomy she never
imagines what will occur months and even years down the road.
She has no idea how depressed she will feel or how she will have
to cling to every shred of happiness just to make it through
Through writing in a journal, taking action to heal herself
through her own research and by surrounding herself with loving
friends and family, Carolyn survives. As the years go by, she
heals. Not just physically, but emotionally.
This book is in itself, very healing. It is a journey into
the most secret thoughts of a woman who has had a total
abdominal hysterectomy. She is blunt in her honesty and yet even
as you are crying along with her, you start laughing moments
later. I felt emotional when reading the first page. I think she
captured my heart in one sentence and from there I went on an
emotional roller coaster throughout the entire book. Laughing at
the uniqueness and genuine wit of the frivolous moments and
empathizing and contemplating the emotional upheaval, the panic
attacks, the depression.
Even in her emotional pain, she somehow manages to conjure up
a child-like joy. Even in the depth of her depression, she
worries about the animals having enough food in the winter. I
laugh to myself as I read: “I lie to myself when I need to but
there are only ten occasions.” The list makes complete sense
There is a delightful story of how she raised a squirrel and
there is even a poem about how to enchant a squirrel. There are
thoughts of pure delight balanced by worries and thoughts about
how life changes vividly as you age. This is set up as journal
There are poems that are highly relevant to the moment.
Carolyn’s thoughts inspire her to create poems. From her pain
comes great beauty. I found her poems to all be deeply
meaningful because I understood the context. After all, she had
just told me the story that went with each one
Everyone was unique and yet had a definite purpose within the
complete process of her inner discovery.
When the Sun is a
Dip your fingers in
the green sea
and write a love letter in my hair.
Trace the words that tell of a plunge to coral gardens
where the flowers are parrotfish
and the sea surrounds us like music,
of how we lie in the silk of the sun,
how your hand on my skin ripples like water
and the scent of the air is yellow.
Then, there were quotes, delicious quotes sprinkled through
the pages in places where they became a natural part of a
sentence, of a thought, of a moment. I want to share so many
things about this book with you, but it is best experienced in a
few hours, reading it alone, maybe in bed.
I found the first part of the book was mainly about the
surgery, but then Carolyn’s writing could really be for anyone
who wants to have one of those silent conversations with an
author who we know would understand everything we are feeling.
Strangely, her natural wit and love for life comes out most
boldly when she is in the most physical pain. When she moves
into the stages of depression, her creativity seems to bloom
like a field of flowers and yet there are dew drops or tears on
the flowers. And then when the wind blows and she is refreshed
by a moment in time, the flowers laugh.
I cannot tell you how many times I laughed out loud and then
went right back to crying! Part of me was emotional because of the beauty of her
writing and part of me was empathizing with the moments of pain,
frustration and the depth of her depression.
I hope gynecologists will also read this book so they can
empathize with their patients emotional needs. Too often it does
seem that we find doctors who are simply viewing the physical
symptoms and have forgotten their patients have a soul.
I can recommended this book to every woman because you might
have to make this choice. I personally had no idea this was the
most common surgery performed in the United States! I can think
of so many people I want to share this book with because parts
of this book touched me so deeply. I felt that some of the
author’s words have now become a part of me.
In losing a precious part of herself that enabled her to give
life to two children,
Carolyn Kent Bailey has given birth to a book from her soul.
What a beautiful gift!
~The Rebecca Review