Where do I even begin? First, A Cracking of the Heart is first physical book I’ve read in quite some time. Lately I’ve only been reading Kindle version of books. I mention this because I collect physical books, and frankly, I can’t stand when people bend pages to mark a page. Well, there were so many passages that I want to remember and revisit that my hardcover version of the book is hopelessly dog-eared. I will be rereading this particular book, possibly more than once.
It goes well beyond the fact that Sarah, the woman’s whose life is the subject of the book, and I share the diagnosis of Turner Syndrome. Sadly, Sarah dealt with many more issues and complications than I ever have. What strikes me most about Sarah’s journal entries and inner dialog in the book is that the struggles she discussed most are the same ones that I have battled most of my life. It is stated that Sarah never adopted due to her concerns about her financial stability. This is the reason why I am working so hard to achieve that financial stability. Everything that I am currently doing in my life will eventually put me in a position to finally create the family I’ve always wanted – hopefully. There is no other way. I refuse to believe that I am not meant to have a family of my own.
One passage that deeply disturbed me is the detailed description of Sarah’s failed attempts at finding love. She did fall in love. That same man loved her. However, it didn’t end in marriage. Instead of choosing to marry Sarah and accepting her for who she was, Joel married another woman. In the book he admits that he made a mistake, that at the time he was drawn to the physical, and that his resulting marriage only lasted a few years. He implies that he should have married Sarah. This is my worst fear writ large. No matter what I do, no matter how much I love, and no matter what I achieve in life, men will not be able to look past my physical characteristics. I have yet to be proven wrong.
If the truth be told, everyone let Sarah down – society in particular. In her short life, she continually fought to be taken seriously, fought for her independence, and fought to achieve in spite of the physical obstacles she faced. Her father, famous political commentator David Horowitz, implies that he regrets certain aspects of his relationship with his daughter. Father and daughter happened to disagree politically. Frankly, my personal political beliefs are more aligned with David’s; however, he makes a compelling case against Sarah being naïve or easily manipulated in her convictions. Even though we may have been in serious disagreement politically, I like to believe that Sarah and I would have had a lot to share if we had ever met. I love the fact that she, like so many women with Turner Syndrome, was stubborn to a fault.
There is so much in her life to which I can relate. For example, I share her love of words. She struggled to find her voice and found it difficult to write about her personal life. Same here. In the last decade of her life, she found solace in her Jewish faith. I am just now discovering that organized religion might have something to offer after all. It goes on and on. I like to think that her faith offered her some sort of solace in all of the adversity she faced just to complete daily tasks that most of us take for granted. It will be a long time before I read another book that touches me on such a deep emotional level.
You can read more about Sarah’s life and the book here.