I can see, and that is why I can be happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden. I can see a God-made world, not a manmade world. ~Helen Keller
Question: What’s the most interesting biography/memoir you’ve read?
My Answer: Many years ago I read Helen Keller’s autobiography called The Story of My Life. Let’s just say I’ve always had somewhat of an
obsession strong fascination with Helen Keller and can’t seem to fathom how she was able to overcome the tremendous odds that she did to accomplish the things she did. I’ve always had a lot of respect for this woman and am always inspired by her quotes which quite often give me goose bumps or move me to tears. I dearly loved this book and it inspired me so much that I told my husband that one day I wanted to travel to her home, Ivy Green, in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Our family did just that in 2003 and it was one of the most inspiring little trips I’ve ever taken and one that I enjoyed very much. The tour guides at Ivy Green were just some of the nicest southern people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and they treated us like we were the only visitors to ever come to Ivy Green. The fact that we were quite possibly the only tourists there that day– a day of monsoon-like weather with some of the HEAVIEST rainfall I’ve ever witnessed MAY have had something to do with it. But what a fascinating tour! And there was just something about seeing that old black well pump– the pump where Helen finally was able to understand the mystery of language that made me speechless. It brought me to tears.
As the cool stream gushed over one hand she spelled into the other the word water, first slowly, then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten–-a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that ‘w-a-t-e-r’ meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! There were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away.
Helen Keller developed Scarlet Fever at the age of 19 months that left her blind and deaf. At age 7, Anne Sullivan was “hired” by her family to be her teacher. Anne became not only Helen Keller’s lifelong teacher, but her lifelong friend as well. Helen learned to speak at around age 10 and learned how to read and read well…. in several different languages!!!! She overcame magnificent obstacles and graduated with honors (magna cum laude) from Radcliffe, at a time when this was almost unheard of for women and certainly unheard of for people with such huge disabilities as Helen. Helen Keller went on to publish 13 books and multiple articles and devoted her life to social reform. She became famous for her lifelong work of helping blind and deaf-blind people.
There is one word for this book. Amazing. I have always said I want my sons to read this book and I do. It’s truly one of the most inspirational books I have read.
Now it’s your turn. C’mon, don’t be shy! Tell me about a good memoir/biography you’ve read.