Author: Maria Federici (Doyle)
Imagine for one moment that one day you are driving home from work when a piece of unsecured furniture falls off and breaks apart from a trailer that, incidentally, was a good distance away from you, sending a particle board crashing through the windshield of your car. Wow, quite scary you say! And this is exactly what Maria Federici (Doyle) experienced in 2004 when she was twenty-five years of age.
Fortunately, Maria has lived to write quite a memoir of her horrendous experience in Obstacles...Bring Em' where she describes, with the help of family and friends, what happened to her and which has resulted in her massive brain injuries, complete blindness and destruction of her face.
The “so called” experts said that she would never walk, talk, hear, blink, work her jaw, or breathe through her nose. It was so bad that they were even prepping her for organ donation. Miraculously, none of the above has happened and they were all proven wrong. Maria's tenacity and desire to live life to the fullest is succinctly expressed in the introduction to her memoir where she states: “I've had a setback in life, but I haven't let that dampen my spirit; so why the hell should you?” In truth, she informs her readers that she is not looking for sympathy, pity or sorrow. She only wants “empathy” or the ability to understand and share her feelings.
Consider this, she has beaten the expectations of everyone around her including the professionals, her friends, and even her family. And this just about sums up the stuff that makes Maria tick. She is someone who refuses to quit and will not permit the world to take care of her as she is determined to adjust to her disabilities and make the right sacrifices.
Maria reveals to her readers that she did not remember anything about the night of her accident that was to dramatically change her life forever. To prod her memory and fill in the missing blanks she includes in her narrative the voices of those closest to her. These individuals are her uncle Bobby, her aunt Susan, Jim Stevens, the first attending paramedic at the scene of her accident, her caregiver Krysten, and her aesthetician, Rita. Each presents detail accounts of Maria's horrific accident and how she survived with their support and her own will power, although she does admit that there still exists pieces of her life that are still missing.
Quite moving is her aunt Rita's assertion that what impressed her most was Maria's sense of humor, her positive outlook about life, and that everyone could learn from her. All of these qualities are vividly illustrated throughout the memoir. This is what makes this story “share worthy” as it provides readers with a powerful message that one should never give up no matter how bleak may be the situation.
What also makes this memoir a meaningful and remarkable read is that it is delivered with a great deal of candor and optimism. Maria admirably succeeds in creating a personal connection between herself and her readers in a way that we can actually feel the emotions and events she experienced.