Becky Galli was born into a family that valued the power of having a plan. With a pastor father and a stay-at-home mother, her 1960s southern upbringing was bucoliceven enviable. But when her brother, only seventeen, died in a waterskiing accident, the slow unraveling of her perfect family began.
Though grief overwhelmed the family, twenty-year-old Galli forged onward with her life plansmarriage, career, and raising a family of her ownone she hoped would be as idyllic as the family she once knew.
But life had less than ideal plans in store. There was her son’s degenerative, undiagnosed disease and subsequent death; followed by her daughter’s autism diagnosis; her separation; and then, nine days after the divorce was final, the onset of the transverse myelitis that would leave Galli paralyzed from the waist down.
Despite such unspeakable tragedy, Galli maintained her belief in family, in faith, in loving unconditionally, and in learning to not only accept, but also embrace a life that had veered down a path far different from the one she had envisioned. At once heartbreaking and inspiring, Rethinking Possible is a story about the power of love over loss and the choices we all make that shape our lives especially when forced to confront the unimaginable.
|Publisher:||She Writes Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Rebecca Faye Smith Galli (Becky) is a weekly columnist who lives in Baltimore, Maryland and writes about love, loss, and healing. Surviving significant lossesher seventeen-year-old brother’s death; her son’s degenerative disease and subsequent death; her daughter’s autism; her divorce; and nine days later, her paralysis from transverse myelitis, a rare spinal cord inflammation that began as the fluhas fostered an unexpected but prolific writing career. In 2000, The Baltimore Sun published her first column about playing soccer with her sonfrom the wheelchair. Fifteen years later, with 400 published columns and a completed memoir, she launched “Thoughtful ThursdaysLessons from a Resilient Heart” – a weekly column for her subscriber family that shares what’s inspired her to stay positive. She also periodically contributes to The Baltimore Sun ’s Op-Ed page, Midlife Boulevard, Nanahood , and The Mighty. Join her Thoughtful Thursdays family at www.beckygalli.com/signup.
Table of Contents
Prologue: What's Planned Is Possible vii
Chapter 1 The Accident 1
Chapter 2 Forest 17
Chapter 3 A Family Shattered 25
Chapter 4 A Marriage of Winners 34
Chapter 5 Family Again 46
Chapter 6 Miscarriage 56
Chapter 7 Undiagnosed Disease 62
Chapter 8 Expect Obstacles 74
Chapter 9 When Hope Hurts 82
Chapter 10 When Winners Fail 95
Chapter 11 The Closure Party 104
Chapter 12 One in a Million 117
Chapter 13 A Useless Master's Degree 132
Chapter 14 Finding My Words 144
Chapter 15 Pain Is Inevitable 162
Chapter 16 The "C" Word 182
Chapter 17 Rejected Again and Now Replaced 192
Chapter 18 Dark Days 201
Chapter 19 Acceptance Changes Everything 210
Chapter 20 Farewell to My Father 222
Chapter 21 Saying Good-bye to Mom 233
Chapter 22 Losing Matthew 249
Chapter 23 The Wedding 256
Chapter 24 Facing Fear Again 269
Chapter 25 The Greatest of These 282
Chapter 26 The Empty Nest 292
Epilogue: Rethinking Possible 299
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Kimberly Luyckx for Reader Views (4/18) “Rethinking Possible : A Memoir of Resilience,” is a story of how one woman stays grounded in her family values and resources to bounce back each time life’s misfortunes come her way. As a preacher’s kid, Rebecca Faye Smith Galli admires her commanding father but dislikes the fact that the parish community often requires the bulk of his attention. Despite the on call emergencies and thanks to her mother’s penchant for planning, the family still manages to reserve Saturday as a sacred day to be together. Throughout her account, Galli reflects on these planned family times with gratitude and happiness. So, when her kid brother dies from a freak water skiing accident, Galli is filled with grief, not only for her brother but for her entire family unit. As the author marries and begins her own family, she is faced with two miscarriages and the birth of two special needs children. Abandoning her full-time career, Galli attempts to manage her life but realizes that this enormous task splinters her from personal goals and the life she has built with her husband. Once divorced and struggling with being a single working mom, Galli’s own health takes a turn for the worse. She contracts a rare flu that terminates in a paralysis defined as Transverse Myelitis; a condition that the author hopes will be temporary. Truly memoir-worthy, Galli’s story is full of obstacles. Just when you think she receives more difficulties than one person can handle, another giant roadblock appears. Through it all, and unfortunate as her tale is, Galli’s memoir reads like a gripping novel. It is filled with dialog, yet contains plenty of description to put the reader inside the narrative. Each chapter’s excitement propels you on to the next. As Galli herself explains, “If I were to write an autobiography I know they would put it in the fiction section!” The drama of Galli’s life is certainly a page-turner. She begins to document her saga or “wheel chair escapades” in an email addressed to a long-lost friend. Her tales eventually extend out to other friends and family. Copying and pasting message after message, Galli conveys to a large blog-like audience the daily news and thoughts that, ultimately, lead to this book’s publication. Galli’s cast of characters, who are integral to her survival and sanity, are genuinely portrayed: from her youngest son/cheerleader to the loyal ex-husband who vows to never leave her alone. Each connection makes the memoir more endearing and truthful. Galli’s storytelling is genuinely heartfelt and provides a greater impact than many other life chronicles. Her writing flows effortlessly and accurately leaving no moments for second-guessing or eyebrow-raising gaps for wondering. Rebecca Faye Smith Galli’s dilemmas teach her readers to stay positive, goal-focused and keep their wits about them - even when encountering those who have no tolerance for the misfortunes of others. In “Rethinking Possible: A Memoir of Resilience,” the author provides many words of wisdom. In reading her story, we discover how to reinterpret life’s misfortunes as adventures and to rethink what is possible. We process grief along with Galli and learn, with a good dose of humor, to accept, forgive and hope. In the end, the biggest lesson her book teaches us is that love is larger than any obstacles we may face.
Thank you to Booksparks for providing me with a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Wow. If you want to read a book that is not what you’re expecting, this is the book for you. Let’s be honest: Galli Smith’s life was not all sunshine and roses, yet her story isn’t filled with bitterness and hate. Instead, her overarching message is one of love and finding that positive light in your “everyday”. I don’t want to say much more about Rebecca’s story because I want you to read it and follow along on her journey in a state of blindness like I did. Her words hit every single one of my heartstrings and held me captive through the final page. There’s a passage I read that has stuck with me and I keep hearing it throughout my daily activities, really making me think about my attitude and how I react to life. After Forest’s death, I watched my father struggle to learn how to accept the good in life while living in the shadow of the best that could no longer be. In his typical pulpit soundbit style, he had boiled down his philosophy to one simple word, “Nevertheless.” “Nevertheless,” he would explain, “implies that given a certain situation, I will behave contrary to its implications. I may not like my circumstances; nevertheless, I will find the good in them.” (p. 188) So again: go read this book. I guarantee it’s going to make you feel things.
Despite facing multiple tragedies and seemingly insurmountable challenges, Rebecca Galli has written one of the most powerful, positive and life affirming books I’ve read in a long time. I was riveted.