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Waiting to Hear "Momma": A Mother's Memoir

Adult; Memoir; (Market)

A mother of a medically fragile child, is traveling an emotional rollercoaster caring for her special-needs daughter as she desperately searched for a diagnosis. What had happened to her baby? What did she do wrong?

You are placed in her business world where bosses do not want a mother with this baggage. The mind-boggling callousness from adults, professionals, to a waitress in a restaurant tells another tale. Amid trying to adapt to her life as a new mother, she herself developed a life-threatening condition.

Can her husband be strong enough to sustain her and their marriage?

With each unexpected trip to an emergency room, she knew there was a chance she would arrive too late to say goodbye.  

Who will help this broken mother survive and accept the future?  The obsessive worry and stress took a tremendous toll. Will she decide her mental pain is too great?

Waiting to Hear “Momma” takes you into the world of a family in crisis that can be dark with gut-wrenching moments often experienced by those who are at the end of their rope. Yet, a wish is granted in an extraordinary way. This candid and raw memoir will open readers eyes and hearts.

Amazon: 5.0 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Waiting to Hear "Momma": A Mother's Memoir should be a mandatory read for everyone who works with individuals with disabilities and their families. Lucille Messina's honest journey jolted me into a realization that I never really "understood" what parents experienced despite my 35 years of working with similar families. The word "raw" describes her words as she shares, through intense emotional honesty, the roller coaster path her life became from the day her daughter was diagnosed at 4 months of age. One aspect that resonated with me was the significant impact that people, especially professionals, can have on one person. Lucille shares poignant stories of some professionals who helped her survive another day and yet other professionals who nearly pushed her to the brink of making a very dark decision. Parents would benefit from reading this book to help them realize they are not alone. Professionals should absorb Lucille's words to fully comprehend the impact of their actions on another human being. If you have not walked in Lucille's shoes, this book is a must read to develop the necessary empathy to work with individuals with disabilities and their loved ones.

In the memoir “Waiting to Hear Momma,” author Lucille Messina takes the reader on a gritty and vivid journey into her life as primary caretaker of her medically fragile daughter Jacklyn, her “special child,” as she refers to her. There are passages where the author resorts to war-like imagery to illustrate the constant and unrelenting struggles she (and her husband) endure to provide the best life possible for Jacklyn. The author writes, "How callous and cruel to find myself in another fight to survive. I knew the disease and knew how to counterattack that assault. There wasn't an unknown entity attacking me-only those in charge, who had not walked in my shoes. I was tired, so very tired, and I thought, Will I have enough strength to march forward and defeat yet another enemy? tomorrow would be another day and another skirmish in my never-ending wars." This passage, and the memoir more broadly, reminded me of Eugene Sledge’s WWII memoir, “With the Old Breed,” in which he transports the reader into the realm of combat few of us experience or can imagine. In the Vietnam War, we Marines distinguished the grimy pit in which we were caught from “the world” that existed everywhere else. Ensnared in a narrow and absurd corner of life, we saw no clear exit, other than being hauled away in a body bag. The experience was so isolating and narrowly focused, it twisted your identity until you became an unrecognizable version of yourself.

Lucille Messina’s portrait of her daily struggle, her valiant battle to help and understand her special daughter Jacklyn, is an experience only faintly and vaguely familiar to most of us. The author’s struggle, the pathos, her dependence on the smallest signs from Jacklyn–a smile, her "grrrr" vocalization–to sustain her, matches the mindset of a soldier who, rendered numb as he walks off the killing fields, notices and covets the brilliant blue sky or the flight of a bird to feel human and touch once more some lost part of himself.

“Waiting to Hear Momma” is a touching and wrenching account of a wife and husband’s search to find “normal” for themselves and their special daughter in a life filled with endless cycles of medical emergencies, hope, prayers, isolation and doubt. It is a book that pushes the reader emotionally to the brink, a memoir that earns the moniker, “There for the grace of God go I.”

Waiting to Hear "Momma" is an honest, raw and revealing account of what life is like for families raising medically fragile children and children with disabilities. The author expertly weaves her memories that expose the emotional and social aspects of raising a chid with disabilities. As a parent to a child with disabilities myself, I appreciated the raw honesty of feelings expressed in this memoir. Highly recommended to all professionals in the medical field who have medically fragile patients as well as to families who are in a similar situation or those who would like to fully understand this experience.


Author's book to be showcased at book party

 Author's book to be showcased at book party

Author launches book at Barnes and Noble

Author launches book at Barnes and Noble

Special guest speaker at annual conference

Special guest speaker at annual conference