As humans, we often feel invincible and yet every day we see and hear of death, atrocities, dismemberment and other terrible things that happen within people’s lives. It takes just a moment, and an unlikely or just unlucky happenstance to change someone’s life forever.
In Obstacles…Bring Em by Maria Federici (Doyle), we are given a look at how just such an unlikely accident changed Maria’s own life, and in doing so changed the path she had mapped out for herself. In her own words and using the memories of her friends and family members, she details her life as it transformed after a fateful day in February of 2004. The life she knew changed drastically when a piece of unsecured furniture fell off a vehicle ahead of her and broke apart, sending a large piece of particle board through her windshield and into her head creating massive brain and facial injuries as well as blindness.
This is not a story of sadness and despair, but one of bravery and courage, and an unstoppable will. Maria may have perished that night from massive injuries and yet due to the courage of the EMTs and those surrounding her, she fought her way back to life and has continued not just surviving but living again. She has overcome many challenges and obstacles and yet perseveres. Never one to give up she continues to work on overcoming her trials including that of her memory.
By deposing her friends, family and many of the medical staff involved in her recovery she pieces together her time of darkness, the circumstances of that one fateful night and the following day, months and years as she fought to not just live but to move forward. There is a grittiness and gutsiness to her story that makes you want to cheer her on and get to know her even better.
She does not expect sympathy nor does she want it. She wants to live her life much like she had planned. There is a quality of freedom and goodness in her fight and she finds a way to voice her feeling through her words and those who have gone through much of the recreation of her new life with her.
If you like stories of courage and survival you will enjoy this work. To have not just survived this ordeal but to have pushed forth and continued the fight with all the things working against her, helps to bring home how determination is what makes things happen. Here is how in real life we begin to see how ‘attitude creates altitude.’
This would be a great book for a reading and or discussion group. There is a great deal of information and a depth of emotion which always seems to create fodder for conversation.