A Journal of Triumph and Pain
by Amy Smith

I went to Mom's today to give her a Mother's Day card. She asked me if I was really me or did I occasionally send an imposter in my place? She was totally serious. I promised her that I was always me.

Amy Smith's journal chronicles the journey of a young woman dealing with a schizophrenic mother and an alcoholic aunt, caring for three aging grandparents, and subduing her own wild streak.

I handed the phone over to Pap. The pain and shame I saw on my grandparents' faces broke my heart. Dee wanted Pap to post bail.

Amy's writings chronicle her struggles for a normal life in the face of rushed trips to hospitals, vigils in waiting rooms, and bracing herself for death. Navigating the rocky terrain of addiction, mental illness, and loss, she learns about faith, love, family dynamics, and what it means to be truly blessed.

"Amy!" Mom declared, "I'm afraid you're flicking ink into my coffee and I'll drop over dead." As I was thinking to myself that Mom's paranoia may never completely go away, she asked me, "Where's my Kleenex? My nose is running to Cleveland."

As bleak as things sometimes seemed, however, Amy learns that there is always something to laugh about!

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