29 Mar An Uncomplicated Life by Paul Daugherty – book review by Saima Bukhtiar
This book is a Memoir of a father about his daughter born with Down syndrome. He talks about how he and his wife, Kerry, go from denial to living in the present and accepting Jillian’s condition, fighting to raise her with skills needed to live independently. He writes beautifully about their father-daughter bond. Paul and Kerry’s positive approach is admirable. They decide to beat the situation and draw strength by focusing only on the present moment.
Yesterday is meaningless, tomorrow is overwhelming. Now is the only thing you can do something about.
All we can do is use all that is given to us to the fullest.
Once they accepted this, Paul and Kerry found an essence of inner peace. They start looking at their situation from a broader perspective and believe that Jillian taught them more than they taught her. By being a part of their lives, Jillian made them better people.
In addition to positive moments, Paul also talks about the challenges of raising a child with special needs. It’s not always easy to stay patient. In order to achieve anything, consistency and patience is the key. Giving up is simply not an option. Paul writes about his wife’s strength and determination, regardless of the fact that raising Jillian puts a new set of limitations in their lives. They stay resolute in focusing on doing the best they can do with what they have in that moment.
Paul admires his daughter and sheds light on her strengths. Jillian possesses the power of wisdom, patience and unconditional love. She has a good sense of humor and jokes around with her father. He admires her aptitude to cope with situations and always see the best in others.
Each stage of their lives was followed with its own set of challenges. As Jillian grew older, her disability became more prominent. Paul and Kerry had fought to keep Jillian in regular classes at school. However, this had its own speedbumps. Jillian became too advanced for kids with Down syndrome, but struggled to socialize with regular children in her class. As parents, they worried more about it than Jillian herself. They feared for her loneliness. However, Jillian loved school and never complained. She was lucky to have a few amazing teachers who made a huge impact in her life.
An Uncomplicated Life, is a wonderful read with lessons to learn. It is an interesting read written from a father’s perspective. The book is a light read and gives hope and strength to the reader.