Diary of a Country Mother
A mother's worst fear: the death of her child. Cindy Montanaro lived that nightmare when her adopted son Tim died in 2005. Some months later she "started a year-long journey of prayer, meditation and writing. I envisioned an extended period of time in which to record, before memory failed me, all of the little humorous and profound incidents that made up my son Tim's short life."
Meet Tim. An outgoing boy with a big smile and an even bigger heart, a boy with an infectious sense of wonder and enthusiasm. Adopted by Cindy and Andy Montanaro in 1989, he was diagnosed at a young age with physical and mental disabilities. His life brought joy and happiness to his parents and family; but always there was the shadow of his mental illness. "I think of Tim and the clear brightness of his moments of insight that would suddenly burst forth in blazing glory," writes Cindy, "only to be overshadowed quickly by the grim reality of his mental disorder."
With faith, tenderness, and humor, Cindy Montanaro's deft hand brings to life the delight and tragedy of Tim's time on earth. "Tim saw Christ's image in everyone he met, not with a conscious vision, but with the instinct of the heart."
"I have just this minute put down the last page of Diary of a Country Mother. My word, what can one say? Cynthia Montanaro has given us the story of a splendidly faithful Catholic household….The word 'contemplative' is the key to this amazing memoir, and the quiet pace belongs to its essence. Every chapter (or meditation) entails some concrete, softly-textured, domestic narrative, all bespeaking both Tim's inner man and the household in which the Lord placed him to pass his brief time on this earth. Every episode has its keen point, and the combination of the domestic with the use of hymns, Scripture, the liturgy, Catholic writings, and Cynthia's own reflections, produce the richness the reader will find here."
-- Thomas Howard, Ph.D., Author of Hallowed Be This House; Lead Kindly Light; Chance or the Dance, The Dove Descending
"Cynthia Montanaro is an excellent writer and this is a beautiful book. She demonstrates how the liturgical year provides the framework for embracing the joys and difficulties of family."
-- Kimberly Hahn, Co-author with Scott Hahn of Rome Sweet Home; Author of Legacy of Love and Beloved and Blessed
"I enjoyed reading the daily reflections in Diary of a Country Mother, and learning of the impact Tim had on the lives of so many people. This memoir beautifully captures the reality that each and every person, regardless of any limitations or ailments, has profound value and can have significant impact on the lives of those around them."
-- Most Reverend Henry J. Mansell, Archbishop of Hartford, Connecticut
"Diary of a Country Mother is an inspiring narrative about the redeemed sufferings of a mentally disturbed child with a beautiful soul. As we read this blend of Scripture, quotations from holy people, and the thoughts of Tim's mother, we become reconciled to our own sufferings."
-- Ronda Chervin, Ph.D., Author of The Kiss from the Cross: Saints for Every Kind of Suffering
"As I turned the pages I was drawn in, not to a tragedy but to the life of a family immersed in the beauty of a faith-filled life. Cynthia Montanaro's memoir is painted against the backdrop of a full year in the New England countryside where the daily pattern of a sacramental life, close to God and to the earth, brings healing, peace, and wisdom. Diary of a Country Mother gives me hope that I too will be sustained by grace in life's darkest moments."
-- Daria Sockey, Author of Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours
"What an honor and blessing to read this gently flowing memoir about Timothy, a young man who mysteriously and tragically left this world while still a youth. Yet thanks to his devoted mother, his life and death now serve to remind each of us that all hope is possible in the firmness of faith and the merciful love of Our Lord, Jesus Christ."
-- Elaine Stillwell, Author of The Death of a Child: Reflections for Grieving Parents
"I laughed, I cried, I prayed, I thanked God for the opportunity to meet Tim and to know such a devoted family. God bless a Country Mother who taught this city girl how much more to love my kids."
-- Lynda Collins, Homeschooling mother
"Like Our Lady's grief at the death of her Son, Cynthia's sorrow is illuminated and shot through by the light of the resurrected Christ. Consequently, this book is in no way depressing. Instead, it records the peace that passes understanding , the confident hope that true faith gives, and above all, love elevated and fulfilled by Love. The reader will come to know Tim well, and to know him is absolutely to love him."
--Suzie Andres, author of A Little Way of Homeschooling