From the Roots explores one woman’s decision to find grace, hilarity, and ultimately joy, in the worst of circumstances. As a result of surviving childhood bone cancer twice, Marsha endures long-term side effects that include the amputation of her lower left leg, the loss of her bladder and kidneys, congestive heart failure, a kidney transplant, and scars galore. A rebel to the core, her defiance in the face of disease, doctors, establishment, insincere people, and anyone who would steal her joy or life force offers moments of profound depth and humor. In nearly every chapter, Marsha has her dukes up, ready to fight for her spirit. Rather than another tell all about a “girl who is sick and mad about it,” this book seeks real resolution and most importantly spiritual meaning to the overwhelming losses she is describing.
The book is arranged in experimental triptychs, with poetry and prose cushioning each story. The triptychs include Spirit, Story, and Poem/Lists. The concept of three in one is woven throughout. The book is an elegant pursuit of life purpose living with loss—there are no pat answers, preachy messages, or “magical triumphant wake up calls.” Rather, there is a steady flow of an inner knowing that grace runs through Marsha’s life. She sees it, she acknowledges it, and she dances with it.
From her early childhood diagnoses of Ewing sarcoma (still a cancer with a high death rate) to her adventures in her twenties traveling through Europe as an overly romantic amputee with a urostomy pouch; her thirties and early forties spent on dialysis as she watched other women grow careers and families; her marriage and subsequent divorce—and her hilarious chats with God about her sex life—this is an inspiring, juicy, laugh out loud, yet elegant story.
Disappointment happens to all of us. Marsha decides that her right to joy and happiness outweighs the perception the world places on her about her purpose and her losses. This book is a timeless story of witnessing the unfolding of one’s spiritual petals, to see one reach unflinchingly for the sun, despite injuries to its roots, lack of watering, or damage to its leaves.