Fishman, Lynda. “Repairing Rainbows: A True Story of Family, Tragedy, and Choices”, 2010.
A Non-Stop Read
It is rare that a book pulls the reader in and keeps him/her there until the finishes it and closes the covers. It is even rarer when the book is finished that the reader finds himself immobile and thinking about what he just read. “Repairing Rainbows” is such a book. Even though I finished yesterday, it is still very much with me today as I am sure it will be tomorrow and for quite a while after that.
Lynda Fishman was thirteen years old when her mother and two sisters were killed in a horrible plane crash and her father had to find a new kind of existence. He was in a state of shock realizing the loss of half of his family and also understanding that he was now solely responsible to raise his surviving daughter, Lynda. Lynda understood what her father was going through but she too was filled with grief and at an age that she was facing adolescence. It is almost impossible to understand the emotions and thoughts that were going through these two people’s heads and Fishman tries to share that with us. Even though she gives us a deep account, I do not think that any of us can quite feel what she and her father felt and continued to feel. This is not just Lynda Fishman’s story but it is the story of what it means to live and not just exist and it s beautifully written. There is a lot to be learned here and even though t is hard to read this without eyes filled with tears, it is a rewarding read and, for me, an experience in the power of the written word.
We so often are not aware of what we have until we no longer have it. This is so true of the Fishman family. Three daughters, Lynda, Wendy and Carla had a wonderful family and a fine life. Their family was one that would make many of us jealous because it seemed so perfect. But that was not to last and with the plane crash everything quickly and drastically changed. That phone call that came altered the existence of the Fishman family and shattered the lives of those who remained. We share the pain of Lynda and her father as we learn of the funerals, the pain and the sorrow, the loss of joy and the paralysis of the father as well as the anger and hurt that was felt. Yet somehow, the family survived and did so because of Lynda’s strength, will and courage as she went about restoring what once was hers. Yes this is a tragic tale about a tragedy but it is also a look at living and loving. It is also a look at how one woman (a girl at the time) was able to rebuild her life after a horrific loss.
And the story continues when Lynda’s father, Shloime, later remarried a woman who was so controlling that there seemed to be no room for Lynda and she conquered that as well. I suppose the best way to describe this as cathartic and as hard a read as it is, I still managed to feel good after reading it. We all have had some kind of monumental experience in life that we question the ability to bounce back—I know I am experiencing that at the present. Although this book may not be the answer for all or even some of us, there are things to be learned here especially about the power of love. I cannot recommend this highly enough. It is an unforgettable read.