Rethinking Possible: A Memoir of Resilience

Rebecca Faye Smith Galli
She Writes Press (2017)
ISBN 9781631522208
Reviewed by Kimberly Luyckx for Reader Views (4/18)

“Rethinking Possible : A Memoir of Resilience,” is a story of how one woman stays grounded in her family values and resources to bounce back each time life’s misfortunes come her way.

As a preacher’s kid, Rebecca Faye Smith Galli admires her commanding father but dislikes the fact that the parish community often requires the bulk of his attention. Despite the on call emergencies and thanks to her mother’s penchant for planning, the family still manages to reserve Saturday as a sacred day to be together. Throughout her account, Galli reflects on these planned family times with gratitude and happiness. So, when her kid brother dies from a freak water skiing accident, Galli is filled with grief, not only for her brother but for her entire family unit.

As the author marries and begins her own family, she is faced with two miscarriages and the birth of two special needs children. Abandoning her full-time career, Galli attempts to manage her life but realizes that this enormous task splinters her from personal goals and the life she has built with her husband. Once divorced and struggling with being a single working mom, Galli’s own health takes a turn for the worse. She contracts a rare flu that terminates in a paralysis defined as Transverse Myelitis; a condition that the author hopes will be temporary.

Truly memoir-worthy, Galli’s story is full of obstacles. Just when you think she receives more difficulties than one person can handle, another giant roadblock appears. Through it all, and unfortunate as her tale is, Galli’s memoir reads like a gripping novel. It is filled with dialog, yet contains plenty of description to put the reader inside the narrative. Each chapter’s excitement propels you on to the next. As Galli herself explains, “If I were to write an autobiography I know they would put it in the fiction section!” The drama of Galli’s life is certainly a page-turner. She begins to document her saga or “wheel chair escapades” in an email addressed to a long-lost friend. Her tales eventually extend out to other friends and family. Copying and pasting message after message, Galli conveys to a large blog-like audience the daily news and thoughts that, ultimately, lead to this book’s publication.

Galli’s cast of characters, who are integral to her survival and sanity, are genuinely portrayed: from her youngest son/cheerleader to the loyal ex-husband who vows to never leave her alone. Each connection makes the memoir more endearing and truthful. Galli’s storytelling is genuinely heartfelt and provides a greater impact than many other life chronicles. Her writing flows effortlessly and accurately leaving no moments for second-guessing or eyebrow-raising gaps for wondering.

Rebecca Faye Smith Galli’s dilemmas teach her readers to stay positive, goal-focused and keep their wits about them - even when encountering those who have no tolerance for the misfortunes of others. In “Rethinking Possible: A Memoir of Resilience,” the author provides many words of wisdom. In reading her story, we discover how to reinterpret life’s misfortunes as adventures and to rethink what is possible. We process grief along with Galli and learn, with a good dose of humor, to accept, forgive and hope. In the end, the biggest lesson her book teaches us is that love is larger than any obstacles we may face.

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