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Reviews for Fixing Boo Boo; A Story of Traumatic Brain Injury

5.0 out of 5 stars       Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite     Reviewed on 07/22/2017 

Fixing Boo Boo: A Story of Traumatic Brain Injury by Pat Stanford is a memoir written by Pat about her sister and her life with her. Barb was born in Pennsylvania in the 1950s with a mild form of cerebral palsy, which resulted in learning and social challenges. While her family and siblings were adjusting to this fact, Barb was further involved in an accident that compounded the brain damage she was born with, resulting in moderately severe symptoms for the rest of her life. Although she married, the marriage was not ideal by any means and perhaps not done for the right reasons. Her husband Bill took care of things and also took care of her, but also mistreated and disrespected her. After her husband passed away, Barb was cared for by Pat and her husband for a while, and this book details her experiences of living with someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury, and the challenges it poses for both the patient as well as the family members.

Fixing Boo Boo provides a realistic glimpse into the life of a person with cerebral palsy
 or any brain injury for that matter. Pat writes in the first person and details the challenges and help that people like Barb need, even for doing daily chores or basic social functioning. Although the writing is quite fluid and engaging, I felt that at times Barb was misunderstood and perhaps the situation with her could have been handled differently. Although this is easier said than done, I couldn’t help but feel that excluding Barb from activities, even when she lived in the same house with them, and keeping a clear barrier between her and them, cannot have been productive and, in fact, could have been hurtful. A bit more compassion could have gone a long way, but again this is easier said than done. It is also true that living with a family member with this condition can be extremely difficult. Overall, this is a great book to try to understand what life is like for people with mental or emotional impairment and their families as well. Pat’s experience and words put life into this story and make it a worthwhile read.


5.0 out of 5 stars    Filled with good and many sad times as well   By Kirsty W. on July 27, 2017

This is an emotional book about a sister becoming a carer for her older sister with a brain injury. It really makes you think how much Pat and Gary devoted themselves and gave up a lot of their lives to care for Barb. Filled with good (and many sad) times as well as all the struggles and fights to help Barb get the best care. Very well written and I found myself surprisingly hooked from page one until the end. Recommend this book to fans of nonfiction and anyone living with brain damage or anyone with a disability, an eye-opening insight.


5.0 out of 5 stars    Tears and Elation     By NamGunner on July 26, 2017

A beautifully written memoir of one family's extraordinary love for a brain-injured sister. Going beyond the normal day to day routine of diagnosis and treatment, it brings the reader into a region of sincere caring that is so often absent in the medical profession today. It had me in tears of sadness and elation.

Reviews for Proverbs of My Seasons; Poetry of Transition

5.0 out of 5 stars       Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite     Reviewed on 06/03/2019

Proverbs of My Seasons: Poetry of Transition by Pat Stanford is a collection of beautiful, sometimes warm, sometimes soul-searching poems that capture the different seasons of the author’s soul and sentiments that are both intimate and universal. In this collection, Pat Stanford explores themes of love, friendship, humanity, longing, and desire. The poems are beautifully written, each reflecting a sensation that evokes a specific season in the cycle of growth. 

Some are very intimate, allowing the poet to explore the deep recesses of the heart. For instance, when speaking about love in “Key to my Heart” the poet awakens the consciousness that the first love we receive is the one we give ourselves; it isn’t outside, but buried in our throbbing hearts: “Inside of me, deep down therein, /love was locked inside my heart; / kindness wouldn’t pry it; sighs wouldn’t move it,/ yet it was always there from the start.” Then there is the searching that the heart experiences when the body comes into contact with another body and the author captures the sense of intimacy and the revolution it causes. 

Here is a collection of poems so rich in their symbolism, so soothing in the diction and delightful in the music; poems that resonate powerfully because they communicate the realities that define the rhythm of the heart. The symbolism is strong and comes across as one of the poet’s most refined gifts. The lines are short, rhythmic, but they are composed of words that are worlds in themselves, keys to unlock hidden sentiments and powerful emotions in readers. Proverbs of My Seasons: Poetry of Transition is a collection that will delight fans of poetry, thanks to the depth of insight and the spiritual character of the poems. At times, Pat Stanford’s poetry felt like two hearts listening to each other’s rhythms — the reader’s and the author's — with each heart hearing itself in the other.

5.0 out of 5 stars       Reviewed by Emily-Jane Orford for Readers' Favorite     Reviewed on 6/25/20

“Life’s a journey, they say, leading to love.” Very prophetic, don’t you think? It’s a powerful thought, well-spoken, well-written. For what is life without love? There are many kinds of love, granted, but love between two people, a couple, is the most divine. Antonio Vivaldi saw the four seasons of life and wrote poetry and music to express these seasons.

In Proverbs of My Seasons: Poetry of Transition, poet Pat Stanford expresses her journey through the seasons as an aura of love in its many forms. She has categorized her collection of poems into the four seasons, much like Vivaldi. Interestingly, Pat was also a musician and songwriter, so she combines her talent for writing poetry with her talent with music just as Vivaldi did. Also, like Vivaldi, she begins with the season of Spring, a season of hope in which she seeks and comes close to, but never really finds, true love. She speaks words of wisdom, like “Happiness comes from careful use,/ and on that, you can rely!” And then there are phrases like: “This is a velvet moment” and “You are not a violin – more like a flute,/ flittering, fluttering and dashing around;”. All which capture my heart and soul.

It’s not easy to write about love; it’s such an obscure thing, really. But Pat goes beyond poetically transcribing love to weaving it into the seasons of life, the four seasons of nature. From the passion of love lost and found to memories of youthful friendships and love, through free verse and rhyming verse, this poet has captured and ‘sung’ it all.

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