"He was on the small green sofa in only his underwear, sitting
upright with his chin on his chest. He might have been only
sleeping. But he wasn't. A dozen pill bottles were on the sofa next
to him. Handfuls of pills had spilled on the floor and the cushions,
technicolor droplets of life or death. He had thrown up on his chest
and a throw pillow that I'd once embroidered with a poem. A yellow
legal pad balanced on his left thigh. No business plans, no
equations, no patent ideas this time. It was a suicide note with
ramblings so insane they read like a bad movie script."
The he in the above paragraph is Adam, an ex husband of Cara
Brookins, author of Rise: How A House Built A Family. At that point
they were still together.
"If I walked away and closed the door, waited just a little
longer, he would have what he wanted. Was that the merciful thing to
do? I didn't ponder the idea for as long as it felt. I went to my
bedroom and called 911, finding it impossible to speak in more than a
squeak of a whisper."
Imagine being in that situation...
...and deciding what to tell the kids about the ambulance's
Adam was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. His
life became a round of involuntary commitments and releases to the
care of his mother and sister. When he was not confined, Cara and her
children were never safe. Neither divorce papers nor protection
orders could keep him away.
Cara could see the toll the stress, fear, and protective lies
were taking on her children. She wanted them to have the security
that would enable them to become strong, happy adults. She also
wanted to pull her little family together. She decided that they
would rebuild as a unit by building their next home from scratch...
...which was quite the daunting task since Cara had no
construction experience whatsoever and her crew ranged in age from
high school to toddler. The challenges started right off when she had
to prove she knew enough about house building to justify the loan she
Rise is a perfect book for our decade when so many people are
faced with daunting challenges. Chapters alternate between the
struggle to achieve the seemingly impossible and the back story of
near unimaginable horror. Beneath all is the undercurrent of
suspense: will Cara's clan achieve their goal by deadline when nearly
everything takes longer than they expected?
On a personal note, recently Joey cat did something unexpected and
totally adorable. He was napping on my lap. He jumped down and
started playing with one of my grey with silver sequined bow ballet
flats. Somehow he got one of his paws wedged in one and walked across
the room with it perfectly on his paw. The camera was nowhere in
sight so I enjoyed the experience. But I was not able to convince
Eugene that it happened. He probably suspected me of snagging one of
A great big shout out goes out to the creatures great and small who
brighten up our lives and give us reasons to laugh.
Sent from my iPod