The Blessing of Movement by Deborah Konrad is nothing short of inspiring. Although the title contains the word movement, our author shines a light on Sandra, her older sister, who is limited in her physical movement. Konrad was born and raised in Houston, Texas during the 50s and 60s: a tumultuous time to be African American in the South. Her parents worked hard to give Deborah and her sisters a great childhood where Jim Crow ruled, but their undying love couldn’t save Sandra from her fate. Sandra was a fireball, who rubbed shoulders with entertainers, professional boxers, and unfortunately, drug dealers. A girl like Sandra was not commonly found living the life that she had found. She was a college educated, intellectual woman who excelled in chemistry and communication.
Despite her family’s efforts and Sandra’s unlimited potential, nothing could save her from the streets, and what the streets stole from Sandra, would rock her world for the rest of her life. One gunshot wound took away Sandra’s ability to ever walk again. She becomes a quadriplegic and through pressure and pleas from her parents, she is forced to move back home and be dependent on her mother, father, and sister to move her, change her, and help her perform daily tasks.
Although Sandra and Deborah’s parents worked incredibly hard to get their daughter to move home, this was not the way they were expecting to receive her. Like any strong family, love conquers all. Because Sandra’s spirit was still intact after her accident, with the help of her family, she got back out in the world, and made waves like only Sandra could.
Deborah’s account of the love, laughter, and sacrifice her family made for each other is nothing short of beautiful. Readers will not only find an endearing story in The Blessing of Movement, but they will also find beautiful language and advice. Konrad says, “Just as there are moments of war, peace, and enlightenment in the development of a civilization, so it is with a family.” Although Deborah narrates the story, she displays such perseverance and strength as a caregiver to Sandra, her father, and her mother. Spiritually moving, The Blessing of Movement helps readers to appreciate the challenges that come in life, and also gives new perspectives while leaving room for renewal and growth.