Ordinarily Extraordinary: Love and Anger, Life and Death, Hope and Inspiration
By: Patrick Long
244 Kindle Edition Pages
Ordinarily Extraordinary: Love and Anger, Life and Death, Hope and Inspiration is a beautifully written memoir with expressive authenticity. Author Patrick Long shares the story of his wife’s illnesses while also recounting some distinct and significant moments throughout their marriage that he will forever cherish. When Patrick’s wife, Melanie, suffers a stroke at barely middle-age, life slows down a bit with the realization of seriousness. Though she’s already been battling cancer before the stroke, this is different and Patrick is inconceivably aware.
In the many memories shared by Patrick, his love for Melanie is evident, as well as the way nearly everyone around her feels. Melanie has a way with people. That’s probably said often, but there is even mention of her befriending a bill collector who called their home weekly. Although Melanie’s radiant aura shines in Patrick’s words, he remains authentic with his story and dutifully shares the moments where it hasn’t been so pleasant. Marriage is hard and the author shares some of their toughest moments with his audience in a way that we can all relate to. Though I’m sure it would have been easy to rave on and on about how wonderful Melanie is to everyone around her, the author shares the moments where things weren’t all sunshine and their marital clashes seemed to take a toll on them both. The reality is, marriage is hard and no one is exempt from the difficulties that come along.
I felt so connected to Melanie by the end of the story that I found myself telling others about the book I was reading and referring to her in a way that someone might mention a friend. He’s right– she’s just such a likable person that it’s hard to imagine her personality as just words on a page.
While I kept hoping for some kind of “addition” to the story in Melanie’s own recount of the events, I was saddened to read that Melanie had lost her battle with breast cancer in 2019. Evident by the memories shared by Patrick, Melanie is painfully missed by her family, but those who knew her are lucky to have experienced the companionship of someone so genuine and thoughtful.
This one took me a bit longer to get through than most books. It’s easy as a reviewer to breeze through fiction and then analyze the writing and content and deliver a review with either high or low star ratings. It’s not easy to read about someone’s experiences and feel their pain in their writing and know that they likely struggled along the way to develop just the right wording to describe the most difficult occurrence of their life.
Ordinarily Extraordinary: Love and Anger, Life and Death, Hope and Inspiration is real and raw and overwhelming… but it’s a story that leaves you feeling thankful for what and who you have. Life is best when shared with others and it’s never a wrong time to appreciate those we have while we still have them.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn a bit about Melanie Long’s life. Her friends and family were so lucky to have had the chance to know her, though her time here was cut short. It’s with great pleasure that I rate Ordinarily Extraordinary: Love and Anger, Life and Death, Hope and Inspiration 4 out of 4 stars.
Check this one out:
Tissues might be needed, but I promise it’s worth it.