The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

posted by Mandi Logan, Ed.S., NBCT, guest writer for www.justonemore.info
Ryan was correct when he told you I am an avid reader. I read numerous books a month but usually they are work related. When I know I am going to have some vacation time, I buy something on the best seller’s list. I recently had the opportunity to go with my hubby to Destin on an annual appreciation trip! The place he buys lighting and supplies from takes us on an all expense paid trip to Sandestin that I absolutely love. It is three days without kids and all the luxury you can stand! So, I grabbed a book called The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and had it read by the end of the first day. I was a bit of a recluse but when you get hooked that’s what happens.

Several people recommended this book because they knew of my involvement in the area of special needs. I was a teacher for nine years and then moved into administration almost two years ago and I love it. I have always been fascinated by kids with special needs since I was very young. I knew early on that I would work in some capacity in this field. There was no one in my family impacted by a special need growing up but I still was drawn to this field. So this book has a tie to special needs and people wanted me to read it. Even if you have no experience in this area, it is a great book and has numerous life lessons to be learned. (Note: This book is not intended to be a scriptural or Christian based book, but I gleaned much from the story that could certainly be applied to our Christian lives.)

The short of it is this:
This stunning novel begins on a winter night in 1964, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy, but the doctor immediately recognizes that his daughter has Down syndrome. For motives he tells himself are good, he makes a split-second decision that will haunt all their lives forever. He asks his nurse, Caroline, to take the baby away to an institution. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child as her own. Deeply moving, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is a brilliantly crafted story of parallel lives, familial secrets, and the redemptive power of love.

This was a powerful book for me because it deals with the sacred moments we have in life that we often take for granted. Every little incident that occurs with your family helps shape who you and your kids will become. Do you spend too much time at work or at play? Are the moments you have at home quality moments or are you just there taking up space? These are challenging, soul searching questions you ask yourself when you read this book. If I had different parents how would I be different? If my children were born with a disability would my life be better or worse? At first thought we might think worse, but read the book and find out what happened to this family. If any of you have read this, I would love to know your thoughts and what message you received from it. This is a constant reminder to me that the Lord allows no room for error when he creates a child. We are all created in His image whether or not that is apparent to us physically. This story emphasizes that sometimes a gift is not apparent until you can unwrap it and appreciate it for what it truly is. How many gifts do we overlook because the wrapping doesn’t appeal to us? What gifts have walked out of our lives because of our selfish will? Look for the gifts in your life. There are some I need to dust off and begin to use and appreciate again.

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