“Was this in the plan?” How often have you said that or something like it when life did not follow that path you expected when you were a child or young adult?
For a fair few years now that saying has meant something different to me and many bloggers. It is the title of an inspirational blog by the very lovely Steph Nimmo. I was very honoured when she kindly asked me to read and review her book of the same name.
When the book arrived, I hesitated to start it. I thought I already knew what it was about and certainly had an idea of how it would end. No rushing to the back page this time then, Kate!
Let’s put some context on this. I met the beautiful Hayley from DownsSideUp at a blogging event many years ago. We connected at a heartfelt level very quickly perhaps aided by a wine or two. It was Hayley who introduced me to Steph in an insistent way as if it was vital we met. My first impressions of Steph were that she was warm and friendly but also stunningly beautiful and well-groomed. Those impressions have stayed the same although of course I feel I know her a little better having read the book.
It seems to me that like myself and many of us Steph identified as a career girl and hard worker first and foremost. The along came a husband and children as they will. Steph’s last pregnancy was challenging and there was a sense that all was not quite well confirmed when her second daughter Daisy was born with multiple special needs.
There’s a fair amount of medical terminology in this book because there has to be. Steph and her husband Andy and their children entered that world where things are not quite clear, where decisions have to be made about procedures often quickly and where blue-lighting becomes a common feature of life.
I defy you not to fall a little in love with the family as you read. They are not saints. They are rocked many times by twists in the road. They are human and inspirational not by choice but by what life throws at them and how they handle it.
I was interested to learn how Steph sometimes finds the learning issues of her boys far more difficult to contend with that the huge physical issues experienced by Daisy. It was also so lovely how Steph realises that her other daughter had special needs of her own as the “normal” child in the family.
It was wonderful to see that Steph could draw on the support of family and friends. Thank goodness she had a support network already in place.
What came out very strongly was how many magical memories Steph creates with her family perhaps all too aware that life can be too short. There are three huge losses in this book the first being the loss of Steph’s Dad and that was the first point when I cried as it brought back memories of losing my own father.
So what do I take away from the book?
It has made me want to be more proactive about living fully with my children making memories. This was already important to me but it is so easy to have a lazy day when we should be actively relishing our family moments.
It has made me want to encourage Steph to write more as I feel she has other valuable lessons to share perhaps with the children involved in the new book/s if they were interested in doing that.
When my Mum died she said she was OK with dying as she had visited all the places she wanted to and done all the things she had hoped to. Very few of us can claim that but we can work proactively on making it happen and/or cherish the blessings that have come our way as Steph’s husband does.
I went to the bar the night after reading the Was this in the Plan? and “Starman” by David Bowie was played. There is more to this life (and the next) than we know. Read the book and you will know why I end my review with this.
Was this in the plan? comes highly recommended and might just shake up your life a bit!