“Not Really Gone” by Blaire Sharpe Book Review

“Not Really Gone” by Blaire Sharpe is about a woman growing up in a family with a  lot of dysfunction and how the matriarch (Grandma) held her family together the best she could. It is the story of a girl growing up with absent and neglectful parents, but also a grandmother who stepped in and became a parent to the three children left behind by parents who couldn’t manage to take care of themselves. It is the story of how a young woman was shaped not so much by the events in her life but how the love she felt from her grandmother stayed with her through all of those events. It is the story of how a grown woman was able to become a caregiver to her elderly grandmother in her dying days and give back the love and affection she received throughout her life from her most influential role model.

I read a lot of memoirs and I can always find at least one part of a person’s story that I can relate to. I know what it’s like to have a person as a touchstone. It is how we measure ourselves. It’s the person you go to when you don’t know who you are yourself. Blaire’s person was her grandmother. “Not Really Gone” documents those important moments that Blaire shared with her grandmother that shaped her into the person she became. It is a recollection of times spent with her “person” and how that relationship formed her thoughts and feelings about the world. And it is the story of how the author measured herself using her grandmother as her barometer.

In the final chapters of the book, the author talks in great detail about her grandmother’s declining health and final days. She writes about how she was able to return the kind of love that her grandmother instilled in her. It was touching to read how the dynamic of their relationship changed and how Blaire was able to give back to her grandmother the same sense of security that she received from her as a child.

“Not Really Gone” is a wonderful tribute to a grandmother who gave everything she had to her family. It was well written and kept my attention from beginning to end. Definitely worth the read!

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She’s Crafty

She’s a Pistol!

When I was pregnant with my daughter I remember talking with my husband about what she would look like. It was almost like setting our pictures side by side and picking who had the better physical feature. I won nose, eyebrows and bottom lip. He won the rest. My husband is much better looking than I am. I am totally okay with this. Some of the traits we hoped for were more practical, like we both hoped she had my husband’s teeth, straight, white and no cavities. These qualities all cost less and save a lot of pain for all of us. We also hoped that she did not end up with my bow legs and knobby knees. We talked about all of these things having no idea if we would have a baby girl or boy. I think we both secretly hoped she would be a girl and I kind of felt it during my pregnancy. Some things you just know. (more…)

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What’s My Age Again?

Thanks from the Owls!

I was the guest reader for my daughter’s class yesterday. I love going to read to the kids, and the little bodies seem to like me. I think it’s because I am like a very large child in high heels. I say what is on my mind and I am awkward when in close proximity to others in silence. These are two characteristics most people seem to outgrow, but I never did. Put me in an elevator with another person and I develop a mild case of Tourette’s syndrome. This is one of the reasons I use the stairs whenever possible. If I am in a small space with another person alone for too long they are probably going to hear about how I got the scar under my lip or why Minor Threat is the best punk rock band to listen to when you work out. (more…)

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They Call it Medicine for a Reason

No seriously, it’s chicken noodle soup.

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I attempted to make homemade chicken noodle soup the other night. It’s been quite some time since I have actually cooked anything. I am not a great cook. I am a master of salads but heated food it a challenge for me. I have set two stoves on fire in my life. Yes, two stoves. My husband and I used to cook together a lot and when I got pregnant he took over the cooking duties, banishing me from the kitchen. I have not made a meal that requires any form of heat since then. Our daughter will be six in a few weeks, so that is almost seven years I have avoided a stove!  (more…)

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Composing a Ransom Note to the Tooth Fairy

My daughter was home from school with an ear infection on friday. After a trip to the doctor we were sent to the pharmacy to pick up an antibiotic. I was trying to insert my credit card into the chip reader while contemplating how she had made it through close to six years without ever having to ingest an antibiotic and now having two within six months. A high pitched voice chirped “I LOST MY TOOTH!!!” My daughter had finally shed her first baby tooth, the one that has been wiggling around for ten days, refusing to pop out. (more…)

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