Here was our dilemma, one that I have been worried about for awhile: How do you tell your developmentally disabled daughter that it’s time to sit down and confess all the sins she has committed in her nine years? (Well, not maybe not all of them . . .) Confess, not to me or her father, but to the highest moral authority in her life, a priest. Somehow, we got her to do it. My Katy made it through her First Reconciliation (that’s confession to you non-Catholics.)
It wasn’t easy. For those of you who don’t know her, my younger daughter Katy has Down syndrome. SO, explaining the whole tell-them-what-you-did (aka confess your sins) was difficult. Her standard line when she gets caught doing something wrong is, “Libby did it.” (Libby is her older sister). We talked (and talked and talked) about how she would be forgiven, she wouldn’t get in trouble, that this was a great chance to tell the truth and let God forgive her sins. We went over and over it, and thought we had it figured out–in January. And then SNOW. And her First Reconciliation was postponed.
So, fast forward two months. We continued to talk, and the two months seemed to have done some good. She got it!! She confessed some sins without blaming anything on her sister, the priest was wonderful and patient, and she walked out relieved and happy, asking if she could do it again. Right then.
So, I’m proud. I’m relieved. I’m happy, but I’m sad at the same time. It took a long time to get her to this point, and she did a wonderful job. But it means my baby, my little girl that works so hard for every milestone, is growing up. She’s my own miraculous, and I’m not ready for her to grow up.
“Our genes define our capacity. They set the range, and we have to act within it. But it is a range, which means it can’t be simple. We are limited, all of us, and imperfect. We are broken in specific, quantifiable ways.”
I can’t really say enough about this book. I first was introduced to the characters when I read Joshilyn Jackson’s s prequel short story, My Own Miraculous and I fell in love with them during this too-short interlude. Someone Else’s Love Story just added to the infatuation.
Shandi Pierce is a bright, creative seventeen year-old girl living in a small Georgia time when she gets pregnant–but she’s still a virgin. My Own Miraculous picks up four years later with Shandi living at home letting her mother parent her son, Natty, letting her father pay all her bills, letting her best friend, Walcott, sweep in and become her white knight when necessary. When she realizes that Natty is an extraordinarily brilliant four year-old, Shandi realizes out that she needs to start taking care of herself and her son and not let others live her life. She discovers that Natty is her own miracle, in more ways than one.
This takes us up to the start of Someone Else’s Love Story. Shandi has decided to leave her small town with Natty and move to Atlanta so he can attended a preschool for gifted children. In a quirky turn of events, the two of them are held at gunpoint at a Circle K. It is in that moment that she meets the next miraculous part of her life; the Thor-like savior, William Ashe.
After the hold up, Shandi weaves her way into Ashe’s life, fancying herself in love with him. It is during this time that she finds the courage and the strength to face up to her past, and to help William face up to his. And once the past is the past, the two of them can face the future . . . just not in the way you think.
Someone Else’s Love Story is filled with rich, wonderful characters that leap off the page. The story is quirky and unpredictable, coming to a wonderful conclusion after some interesting, winding roads.