Springer (Hello Tomorrow, I'm Still Here!, 2009) presents a firsthand account of her struggles and triumphs after miraculously surviving a traumatic brain injury.
At 52, the author was a successful executive for a thriving insurance company. She’d dealt with stress and sorrow in her life—her husband had committed suicide three years earlier—but felt capable of handling a normal routine. Without warning, however, she suffered a terrible aneurysm affecting a part of her brain responsible for many vital tasks, including maintaining balance and walking straight. Most people who suffer similar brain injuries don’t survive, but Springer awoke from a seven-week coma with considerably less damage than expected. That said, the aneurysm didn’t leave her unscarred, and in this memoir, she discusses the many months of work she spent regaining some of her normal functions. However, her ability to concentrate remained impaired, and her sense of taste also deteriorated over time. Despite her hard struggle, she argues that her life is a gift from God—a belief that seems to allow her to press forward. But although Springer emphasizes the strength she draws from her faith, she doesn’t shy away from her recovery’s rough patches; at one point, for example, she even considered hiring a hit man to kill her. She describes her frustration at losing the ability to do something she loved—cooking—and how her knowledge of her blessings didn’t always provide her comfort. These feelings of disappointment in the face of grace are universal and may help readers connect to her story on a deep, human level. Although she briefly touches on a few medical issues, particularly when discussing the severity of her injury, her explanations are straightforward enough for medical laymen to follow. Overall, the book’s tone is personal and introspective, and her inspirational message isn’t clouded by any agenda.
A memoir that simply but effectively reminds readers of the good that can come out of unfortunate circumstances.