I enjoy reading books on various topics and I just finished up a book entitled The Key is Love by Marie Osmond. I usually only do reviews specifically related to fitness, nutrition or triathlon/running on this website, however I know many of my readers have to juggle training with children and family obligations like I do; so, I taught it would be an interesting review. I was particularly drawn to the book because the author is a well-known singer and performer as well as being a mother to 8 children. Over this last winter I also had the opportunity to watch her perform with her brother, Donny in Salt Lake City. It was a great concert.
One of the other things that drew me to reading this book was the topic of Motherhood. I think we can always use reminders on how to be better mothers/parents and one particular section of the book confirmed my long time belief about the value of health in my life. Marie points out “Love yourself enough to know that as a women and especially a mother, you have to take care of yourself first, before you can take care of others.” This is so true. She illustrated this with the common analogy I often use about putting on your own oxygen mask then helping others in an airplane emergency. If you want to be a great mom take care of yourself and then you will be better able to help others. What better way to teach your children healthy behaviors then by living what you teach.
As I read through the book I was amused by many of the fun personal stories that Marie shared. Like the time her family was offered monkey brains while traveling around the world on tour, or how she “suffered” through the delight of her father presenting her a “huge sixteen-ounce glass of fresh-squeezed” grapefruit juice every morning and her attempts to downsize the crop by lobbing these “gifts” into the neighbor’s yard only for the “gifts” to be returned.
Marie also shares her heartaches; experience with postpartum depression, and grief over losing her son to suicide at age 18. I was particularly drawn to this chapter as I too understand that pain that can comes from grieving. Many years ago I lost a baby girl late in pregnancy. Samantha only lived five hours but as another grieving mother put it “so many people don’t realize that there is a real grieving process associated with these losses. There were plans made for these babies. They were expected, loved, and anticipated.” I like how Marie describes the waves of emotion experienced and “depths of anguish” that grief can bring. Like Marie I believe that others don’t have to experience it to comprehend the anguish and how difficult it can be to overcome for some.
As Marie illustrates once you have lost a child you belong to an “inconceivable sorority of sisters”; women who have lost a child. Or for me, those who have lost little ones, we are considered “angel moms.” I had never heard of this until after my experience, but it’s nice to be around those that truly understand because they have been through it. And while “no one can make it better” I hope to help others cope with grief and to honor her memory and other loved ones at an annual Race For Grief event I organize every year. Learn more about the Race For Grief event
We all have seasons in life when we struggle but it helps to show gratitude for the blessings in our lives and stay positive and keep things into perspective and as Marie suggests, “Don’t miss the present moment by living in the past or anticipating the future.”
I love how Marie further describes the title of the book; “The Key is love…and that means loving the season of your life you are in…capture in your heart the moments your children are young… appreciate your wisdom, speak your mind and give back to the community… cherish your loved ones, rest in a job well-done, love the simple pleasures of life.”
This is the essence of life to me. There were a lot of other great quotes I really loved in the book that I could relate to like:
“Discipline is a muscle. You have to strengthen it to be able to do the things you want to do in this life.”
“Family must be fought for, sacrificed for, held up and recognized as the most precious reward given to mankind.”
“Endurance: The power to bear an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. Practicing patience when obstacles arise. “
“To be a mother takes passion, commitment, energy, sacrifice, intuition, sensitivity, intelligence, focus, and endless amounts of love.”
You know there are many races I had endured but nothing compared to the endurance and stamina it requires to raise a family. Reading this book has motivated me to be a better mother I would highly recommend it to others. This would make a great gift too (close friend, your mother/grandmother). Buy it for your home library
Coach Lora Erickson