Woke up to the dawn chorus of birds – many birds – singing their hearts out. Spring must be near.
And then to this lovely surprise – the perfect gift for a day when I am feeling weak and woozy, having come through a winter illness, but have to head out of town to give the keynote address for an International Women’s Day event this afternoon.
I rarely check my books’ reviews, but I’m thanking God for directing me to my Amazon listing today!
Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2020
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a tender and deeply affecting story told with both honesty and elegance. At times, as I read, I felt as if I was having a conversation with a dear friend over a cup of tea. Other times, as I scribbled notes in my journal or highlighting some parts on the Kindle Reader, I felt as if I was listening to a mentor; there’s so much wisdom in this book.
Reyes has a way of making the reader feel as if she is talking to or writing only just for them. Yet the book is about overcoming (hers), love and support from her loved ones, the church community and professionals instrumental in her healing, as well as gratitude to everyone in her life.
There are so many things I loved about this story. I enjoyed reading the book immensely, even though at times I had to blink back tears. And I fully agree, the author “writes beautifully even when she hurts.” In all, An Honest House is a loving home and a highly recommended read.
“As I read through An Honest House, I kept thinking that what happened to Cynthia Reyes could happen to any of us.
I wondered how all of us would cope if we were stripped not only of our health but of our identities as successful, involved leaders and found our new selves to be pain ridden, physically altered, and anxiety prone among other things.
Would we have the indomitable spirit that kept Cynthia fighting to regain her former self and role in life despite her enormous frustrations adjusting to her injuries following her accident?
How did she keep going?
How did she find her new role?
Three of the many take-aways in this inspiring book stand out for me and my partner, Ernie Eves, who experienced loss of a different kind when his only son was killed.
The first, of course, is Cynthia’s determination, however wavering at times, to come back both physically and professionally.
Then, over time, as she realizes she cannot turn back the clock, there is her gradual recognition and appreciation of the overriding value of what she has already: her supportive, caring husband, Hamlin, her two daughters and their families, her friends, faith and community and, not to forget, her enchanting nineteenth century Ontario farmhouse.
The third inspiring finding for us is that Cynthia has managed to continue to play a significant role in Canadian life by writing books that show how someone can create new meaning and purpose in their lives, however futile it might seem at first.
Given the challenges all of us face at some point in our lives, especially as we suffer the debilitating side effects of aging, we can learn from Cynthia Reyes’ courage, determination and spirit.
In our view, An Honest House should be required reading for everyone.”
— Isabel Bassett and Ernie Eves.
Thank you, Isabel and Ernie. I share the credit with three extremely caring editors, a dogged publisher, great beta readers, my loving family and friends.
I’m grateful for all of you who extend yourselves to help others — especially in tough times.
I say “I got up, passed out and fell down” is the best. Makes me hoot!
You could say, “I suffer from orthostatic hypotension.” That sounds sexier but is not technically lying.
Errmmm…. what is orthostatic hypotension, Victo?
Low blood pressure that occurs with a sudden change in position. You could also call what you had a syncopal episode or syncope which means passing out. That also sounds kind of sexy.
OR you could say, “The doctor called to tell me the pregnancy test was positive and I just passed clean out!”
One night while asleep, I had a dream that I was at the gym training for a slot on the Canadian Winter Olympics ice skating team for the 2018 games. I tried to balance myself but fell out of my bed and broke my ankle.
Sorry Cynthia, I have no good story, but how about a run-in with big foot? I can relate. I fell (3″) off a ladder years ago as a 25-year-old and broke my arm! I like Victo’s story.
You could use the same story about your fractures that actually happened to my cousin. On her way out that evening, when she went to get her coat, she accidentally stepped into the cat’s litter box. The box went slip sliding away, taking my surprised cousin along with it. She found herself on the floor with a fractured leg, checking out the paint on the ceiling.
I was playing tennis and as I jumped in the air to serve I landed wrong and broke my ankle, but that serve won the game for me. ☺
You can borrow my story. (Substitute foot for hand.)
I was going in to make an offer presentation on a house in the west end. We were #11 or 16. It was the night of the last snowstorm of the year. There was one step up on the sidewalk leading to the house. It was icy and I had leather shoes. I was losing my balance but trying not to fall. The more I tried, the more I accelerated falling headfirst. As my head and face hurled towards the brick steps, I reached out and my middle finger on my right hand took the brunt of the force. One look at my hand and I knew my finger was broken….
The good news is my finger was not broken. The bad news is that it was badly dislocated. The really, really good news is while waiting in the emergency room I found a house for our buyers on Instagram. They went to see that house and subsequently offered and they were the successful buyers.
“I snagged my foot on a root while getting up off my knees from praying to the gardening gods to make my wisteria bloom.”
Embellishments are much more interesting than factual details. It may be a stretch to add someone “tall, dark, and handsome” in the night… but maybe Hamlin would fit the bill. -Oscar
Picking Mangoes in Jamaica and fell off the ladder. Exotic, and believable.
I have just broken the record for the longest ever baseball hit, but I twisted too far round.
You were stuck in a ravine under falling boulders and had to break your own ankle to crawl to safety….
“I thought I was 20, my body rebelled.” No other explanation needed.
You had volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and when President Jimmy Carter started to waiver from the heat, you rushed over to help him and tripped on a two-by-four board.
You got tangled up in the dog strangling vine when you were weeding the garden and it tripped you?
In utter frustration, you hauled off and kicked a certain high-level US elected official who shall not be named. You broke your ankle but earned the admiration of many Americans.
You rushed onto the road to save a puppy that was about to get run over by an armoured limousine driven by Donald Trump. Your leg got broken but the puppy is fine.
” I was about to go on stage when a friend told me to ‘Break a leg’, the thought of it was so frightening that I fainted, and wouldn’t ya know…” 🙂
I saw a “pink elephant” on my way home from the local gin mill and tripped on the sidewalk and broke my ankle.
You were clearing bats out of the belfry. 😀
You were the last person in the human chain saving swimmers from the riptide a few weeks ago. And your brave efforts resulted in success! 🙂
“I slipped while rushing to a yoga class, which proved my husband’s favorite theory that exercise is bad for you.”
OK – 2 possibilities. 1 – the Truth. “I was in a car accident a few years ago. It’s taken years to recover and I’m still not there. Sometimes my body is not where I think it is, and does not do what I think it will. Like this time – I stood up, passed out and fell down.”
2 – “My husband stretched his hand out to me, and when I stood up to put mine in his … well, I looked in his eyes, and he was just so damned handsome that I passed out and fell down.”
I took a short cut home and jumped over a low wall. Trouble was it was ten feet down the other side.
I was helping decorate the church and I fell backwards off the font.
I tripped up the stairs with my hands in my pockets and landed face first.
I fell over a cat.
These are all real.
A teenie weenie mouse did it! As I opened the door, she came in. I tripped on the door sill trying to escape….!!
Entries From Facebook:
Rex Deverell You were walking down the street, perfectly innocently, on a lovely day, but a crane operator had been drinking on the job and lost control of his machine. Right behind you a great hook swung like a pendulum and caught the strap of your handbag. You refused to let go – what was in that handbag? Finally, by the time you and the bag were extricated you were practically in the next county. The landing was a bit rough given the inebriation of the crane operator – hence the damage to the ankles.