The Power of Compassion by Debbie Smith



While it seems most are posting about planning, I choose not to. For a person who prides herself in keeping all her ducks in a row, I found most of mine were struggling to stay afloat and many were completely underwater. So with my ducks not accountable, you can see why I choose compassion to write about.

This is a word that brought about many images and thoughts. But for this post, I've narrowed it to what came to mind first. Memoirs.

The many touching stories where the author was thrown into circumstances beyond their control,  immediately came to mind. But more than that they managed to overcome. For me, these stories of growth and survival are so inspirational.

 Now I’m going to narrow down these books to one. In Carol Decker’s book Unshattered: Overcoming Tragedy And Choosing A Beautiful Life, it's impossible not to experience that emotion. 

This is one of the most inspirational memoirs that I've ever read. As one reviewer stated, it is sad in places, very sad. And Carol's recovery is tough to read. But she and her husband are amazing people who helped me see life through a clearer lens.

Among other things, this heart-wrenching story took me on a journey of shock, pain, faith, hope, love, and perseverance. What I discovered was the story of an incredible woman who ended up choosing life and living.

Can you imagine being pregnant, feeling very ill, ending up in the hospital, and then finding yourself fighting for your life? She experienced an emergency C-section and a serious battle against sepsis. And though she wins her life she loses much of her old self. She is left blind and parts of her limbs have had to be amputated.

This story inspired me to take the higher road when things beyond my control happen. And it definitely opened my heart to compassion.

In case you're not familiar with this incredible woman, I'm going to post the Book Blurb. Then if you'd like to hear Carol Decker's story in her words, I'm posting the link to a YouTube.

Book Blurb

On June 10, 2008, Carol Decker walked through the hospital doors a healthy woman with flu-like symptoms and early labor contractions. Three months later, she returned home a blind, triple-amputee struggling to bond with a daughter she would never see.

Unshattered: Choosing a Beautiful Life after Unspeakable Tragedy recounts Carol's fight for survival against sepsis and its life-shattering complications. From excruciating skin grafts to learning how to function in daily life without lower legs, a left hand, and her sight, Carol takes us on a personal and raw, yet inspiring journey. She travels through the darkness of trauma, anxiety, and depression to arrive, literally, at the peak of a mountain with a heart full of gratitude and love. More than a story of triumph over tragedy, the book offers inspiring life-lessons and insights which can help readers to do more than endure unimaginable pain and darkness in their own lives. This book can give them the perspective and strength to pick up the pieces of their own tragedies and choose a life of healing, purpose, and joy--a beautiful life.

Listed below you will find a few more memoirs that I’ve learned so much from: 

The Unexpected Spy: From the CIA to the FBI My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World’s Most Notorious Terrorists by Tracy Walder and Jessica Anya Balu

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Waco: A Survivor’s Story by David Thibodeau

Jet Girl: My Life in War, Peace, and the Cockpit of the Navy's Most Lethal Aircraft, the F/A-18 Super Hornet by Caroline Johnson

I've Seen The End Of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know by W. Lee Warren, MD

Let 2021 be a year that we experience compassion through a lens wiped clean of fog.


  1. I love this idea of memoirs teaching readers compassion!

  2. This was such a powerful book!

  3. I agree. And to think she is now a motivational speaker. My heart goes out to her.


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