The story of Cushla and her family is one of pain, struggle, and worry. It is also a story of strength, determination and love. I truly enjoyed reading about the difficult yet inspiring journey the family took and what they did in order to deal with the painful reality of what their little girl was going through. The story provides a message of hope to others who are dealing with similar issues and provides a wonderful example of just how strong children are.
A childhood is not meant to be filled with hospital appointments and prescription drugs, however Cushla and her family accepted the life they were given and made the best of it, a challenge not anyone can commit to. Within the first few pages of the book Cushla and her family intrigued me. Cushla’s mother was the exact same age as I am right now when she had her daughter. For me, the thought of having a child at this point in my life is terrifying and incomprehensible.
So to try and understand how this young women and her husband had the strength, and courage to believe that they could cope with the hardships of raising a sick child is absolutely I incredible to me. No matter how many times they were told that their child was not “normal” they both did everything in their power to create a regular lifestyle for their baby girl. The family’s story is an excellent example of just how strong the bonds of parent and child can go. These two sacrificed everything for the well being of their child and I believe because of this Cushla overcame.
I also believe their influence of reading into their daughters life was a brilliant idea. Though Cushla did not live a normal life, reading and listening to stories allowed her to do something all children enjoy. With her stories Cushla was to escape from the hardships she dealt with everyday and take part in the lives of all the characters she met within the pages of her books. It was when I began to read about how Cushla responded to the books that I realized despite her physical disabilities and sickness she was very much a normal child.
My belief was strengthened when I read the title of one of the books, which she had really enjoyed during the period of nine to eighteen months. Brown Bear Brown Bear was also a favorite of mine when I was a little girl. Though my memory is not perfect, when I look back I can recall having so much fun listening to this story and learning the words so I could read along with it. I look at the book now and I can see how intriguing the simple pictures and text would be for a young mind.
While reading this I noticed that when I read about Cushla and her disabilities I immediately thought of her as being different and living a different life from what I know. And it wasn’t until I read how she had enjoyed Brown Bear Brown Bear like me that realized how despite physical differences Cushla was probably a lot like me when it came to her interaction with books. Children no matter how different in lifestyles will always be able to be captivated by a book and want to take part in the adventures that the characters are in.
For Cushla she was able to go on an adventure and escape from a difficult life, which was out of the ordinary to most children of her age. With the guidance of her courageous parents Cushla was able to make it through those difficult years and find something (reading), which would provide her with joy. Cushla not only received medicine from medical doctors but from the authors of the books she loved. After reading her story I wondered how she would have carried out her life if books had not played such a strong role in her life.