Sunday, January 16, 2011

Breaking Night

Breaking Night: A MemoirBreaking Night: A Memoir by Liz Murray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Liz Murray shares her story with grace, hope and inspires others to take control of their own future by hard work, dedication and love for family and friends.  Please note there are descriptions of heavy drug use (her parents) and some child abuse and neglect but the story would not be complete without understanding what she endured and eventually made the choice to overcome.

Favorite passages:

Had I know when I left that there would be no going back, no returning to a roof over my head, I'm not sure I would have done it.  After all, isn't that what really draws the line between childhood and adulthood, knowing that you are solely responsible for yourself?  If so, then my childhood ended at fifteen.


I was inspired by a question that kept repeating itself in my mind: Could I really change my life?  I'd spent so many days, weeks, months, and years thinking about doing things with my life, and now I wanted to know, if I committed to a goal and woke up every single day working hard at it, could I change my life?


In this way I didn't have to choose to go to high school just once, I had to choose it over and over again, every single time I was tempted not to go.  During these mornings that were full of rare and precious quiet, soft pillows and warmth, I was tempted more than any other time to just pull the blanket back over me.  It took everything I had to choose to walk through the door to go to school instead.  In these moments, I was my biggest obstacle.  Warm blanket or walk through the door?


But it was no easy task to pick out a birthday card from Daddy to Lisa.  What could I possibly pick?  They were all designed for men who had lived up to their responsibilities as a father, cards decorated with shimmering monikers of Dad, Daddy, sayings like, "This card is from your loving Father."  …. I came up with my own solution.  Neither of them knew it, but more than once I found the perfect card from Daddy to Lisa in the sympathy section of the card store:  "Been Thinking About You," … that expressed love but left room for the implication of tragedy and distance.  These were the only greeting cards that captured Daddy's role as a father.


….discussions on character motivation, syntax, and even his bold assertion one afternoon that "grammer saves lives!" "Punctuation changes everything," he proclaimed in white chalk across our blackboard.  "Let's eat, Grandpa! - versus- Let's eat Grandpa! To Grandpa, these are VERY different sentences," he teased making the class erupt into chuckles and groans.


Things turning around for me had been the result of my focusing on the few areas in life I could change, and surrendering to the knowledge that there were many more things I just couldn't make different.

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1 comment:

  1. Here's a non-spam comment: I am going to look into this book. I'm going to use a couple of those grammar things in my composition class tonight.