128 Days and Counting – A 28-Year Old Caregiver’s Memoir –
by Honore Nolting – Book Review
I love to read and I love to write. So, when I was asked to review “128 Days and Counting – A 28-Year Old Caregiver’s Memoir” I was both excited and honored. I also really enjoy supporting other caregivers in whatever expression they select for getting through their experiences. I might even consider myself a veteran, in that I have cared for my special needs child, my other kiddos, and my parents. As a veteran, I figured I would do a quick read, provide some feedback, and move on with my life. Well, 128 Days and Counting … wasn’t going to let me off so easily.
Honore writes a deeply touching story that bears all as she and her husband navigate their new reality. I wanted to start the review off with, “This book is Great!” – but I couldn’t. This wasn’t just a book. This was the soul of a woman and her husband written on paper for the rest of us to see and to feel. I couldn’t be that disrespectful. The book is well written. The book has a great cover. Yet, these things are not what I experienced. This was a written description of a soul changing before your eyes when faced with the unimaginable. If I had to write only one sentence, I would replace book with the word life and I would say “This life is real and still unfolding, and I and both excited and scared to see what is next.”
Honore is from Milwaukee, where my family and I all live now. This may seem insignificant, but because we are from the same place I could see how real she was writing and how much she really shared with the reader. She discussed Packer games (because she has to being from WI) and the non-stop sports rivalry between her and her Bears fan husband Tom. I can’t actually hold Tom being a Bears fan against him though, not after reading all he and Honore have gone through. I guess not all Bears fans are bad.
From the Prologue, where she says “this is our heart on paper” to the blog inserts to the end of the book, which wasn’t an end at all – I was hooked. I even wrote to her in the papes of the book, like I was writing back to her, trying to be inspiring. I remember being scared to read the next chapter. Needing to see what happens, but not wanting to know. One page I noted she was vulnerable and funny – both on the same page. Another page I said I saw how she used humor to diffuse a very scary time, and how she was both funny and uncomfortable all at one time. The details of her memories and how she shares them with us show the depth of her experience. So many times during the book I wished I really knew her, so I could give her a hug.
She was sassy, sarcastic, raw and beautiful. I had to put the book down a few times, I was too emotional to continue. I could feel the pain so deeply sometimes, I had to walk away from the book for days. Other times I would laugh, cry, and sniffle all at one time due to the break in the reality she shared.
If you saw a picture of Honore, you would see how beautiful she is on the outside too. You wouldn’t know that she is in the … and counting … part of her journey. You wouldn’t know how much her family has supported her or how much she loves her husband. You might even look at her and feel a pang of jealousy for her beauty and how she seems to have it all together. But you don’t know her story. None of us knows what others have going on behind the smile. So, yes this was a caregiving story. Yet, it was also a story of life and how life unfolds, sometimes in ways we don’t see. This is a love story as much as anything else. The love at so many levels, that you can only understand it by reading her heart on the page.
I won’t share anymore, because it isn’t my story to share. I would encourage anyone that needs a love story to read the book. I would encourage anyone that needs to feel something, to read the book. If you feel lost and like giving up, read the book. If you need to be inspired, read the book. This isn’t just a caregivers story. I hope you read it. I would love to hear what you think.
You can learn more and buy the book at: https://www.128daysandcounting.com/