by Anne Marie Romer
Kathy fell into her sister’s embrace in the Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital lobby in Chicago. “Just give me the road,” she whispered into the safety of her sister’s arms. “I don’t care how long it takes, just give me the road.” Less than 12 hours earlier, Kathy’s 18-year old son Conor was hit by a car and suffered a life-threatening brain injury while crossing the street in downtown Chicago.
Kathy and Anne Marie navigated a fractured childhood through the eyes of a strong mother whose life example showed them how to live with gratitude and grit despite adversity. Impenetrable sisterhood was cemented by the heartbreak of losing two brothers to suicide and coordinated schedules to care for their elderly mom. They navigated life through partnership and mutual alliance.
Now, Kathy and her family were faced with a lonely and unimaginable anguish as she watched her son lay in a hospital bed with a poor chance for survival. Anne Marie had a front row seat as Kathy opened herself to grace, searched for good despite repeated tragedy, and leaned on what she knew for sure; the presence of love in all. Anne Marie engages every reader with honesty and vulnerability into the common space of navigating struggle with a perspective of hope. This is a story of Kathy’s unyielding determination to restore Conor to wellness; weaving a greater story of sisterhood into Kathy’s very personal quest to save her son.