Inspiration Through Tragedy
For years, Monica has helped many individuals find their voice and pursue their dreams. But on January 31, 2017 Monica’s world was turned upside down.
She writes: “At 7:00 a.m. on January 31, 2017, my husband and I were sipping coffee and talking about the day, making dinner plans with the children. By 8:30 he was being wheeled into the OR for a completely unexpected, massively life-changing surgery. The surgeon was telling me to ‘call the family’ because he might not make it.”
At age 47, Monica’s husband had suffered a massive brain bleed.
The next weeks and months were spent in ICU, “praying, praying, praying, and praying more,” Monica says. Throughout those many hours, long days and longer nights, Monica kept a journal. She wrote about what was happening and about her feelings. She wrote about the other families she got to know, about navigating the world of the ICU, and about suddenly becoming the primary caregiver to her spouse as well as their two boys.
Not surprisingly, Monica now wants to take what she has learned through this tragedy and use it to help others. She wants to turn her journal into a book for others facing similar devastating circumstances. Filled with inspiration and guidance, it will bring the comfort, joy, and clarity they need to maintain faith and hope.
From Monica: “Today as I stand here at one of the most difficult points in my life, I am reminded of what my father has always said: to look at the problem in front of me and try to see the good in it—that is, to make the obstacle my message, to look at my path and know that these obstacles are not stumbling blocks but that they are the path.
“Staying true to that philosophy, I have decided to take the very difficult situation I am in and see how I can use it to help others. I have decided to write a book, an interactive journal to help families and primary caregivers in the ICU and in hospitals so that they may benefit from my experience. This interactive journal will be filled with inspiring and thought-provoking stories of what happened with us, how we managed our emotions and found meaning in the most impossible moments. It will also have sections for people to write down thoughts and feelings during their own difficult time. The book will become a keepsake; each person who writes in it will make the book their own.”
When Monica’s husband was finally able to go to rehabilitation, the doctor who discharged him said, “You are the miracle patient we will tell our other patients about.” Monica discovered that the miracle had launched her family on another unexpected journey. Monica’s husband now continues to recuperate at home, where she helps him rebuild his health while watching over their sons. Each day demands strength, focus, and unending love from everyone to meet the unimagined challenges that arise in the long recovery process, which doctors say could take a while.
“Despite all that my family and I have been through, we’re so blessed that he’s made it, he’s getting better, that friends and family gathered around, supported us, and validated my belief in the goodness of humanity. I want to repay my blessings and gratitude by helping others the only way I know how: to write,” Monica says. “So many of us face challenges that seem larger than life. I want to use the next few months to capture everything I have learned to help people cope and thrive no matter how difficult life gets. I want to do my part to lift individuals in the world.”
Let’s lighten the load and give Monica the well-deserved support she needs to write this book, continue her writing and publishing pursuits to get her message out to the world, and hire the help she needs to maintain her writing during this time. Let’s help Monica make a difference. Join us! Please spread the word!
“Thank you again for helping. I’ve started donating boxes of the book to Fairfax Inova. I’ll keep doing what I can to get this book to the people who need it. I’m truly grateful to you all for believing in me during this dark time.”
We received exciting news from Monica, whose book "I See You: Observations from the ICU ~ A Caregiver's Journey" is set to release on March 25 and is available for pre-order now: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BKTBXC7
"I have penned a book that I never thought I would write but that is what life is all about: we play the hand we are dealt and hope that in doing so we make even a smidge of a difference in this world.
This book, I See You, is intended to help caregivers who find themselves in a terrifying situation and want to help their loved ones and keep their own strength up. This book is not a how-to or a technique manual but more holding someone's hand as they navigate the challenges that life throws at us."
Here is the formal announcement on the book's release:
Life can change in a single moment...
Noted international food writer, poet, and educator Monica Bhide was a planner, a list maker who worried about "things big and small" until her husband's life-threatening illness changed everything. As he lay in a coma in the ICU, Bhide was relegated to the sidelines, powerless, until she came to the realization that all we have is now, and all we can control is our mindset. Laced with her personal stories from the ICU — from the friends who showed up with food and prayers to the stranger who shared her potato chips and optimism — I See You is the story of finding peace and happiness amid the pain and uncertainty.
With her trademark insight, wisdom, and evocative prose, Bhide takes readers along on the emotional and transcendental journey of being a caregiver for a loved one — a journey filled with fear, helplessness, guilt, and frustration, but also humor, love, and the shining light of hope. Because "where there is hope, there is possibility, and possibility carries happiness in its folds."
And here is a note from Monica:
I want to personally thank each and every one here for all your help. Thanks to your kindness, I have been able to keep my business running during this very difficult time. I have also completed a book on the experience that I hope will help other caregivers. I will be donating copies of the book to area ICUs with a prayer and a hope that it will help anyone who finds themselves in a terrifying caregiving situation. The book will be officially released at the end of March, 2018.
I never thought this would be a book I would write but that is what life is all about: we play the hand we are dealt and hope that in doing so we make even a smidge of a difference in this world.
Thank you all for your love, support, generosity and prayers.
I feel truly blessed and am really grateful for all the love.
The first draft of the ICU caregiver book is now with an amazing editor. THANK YOU for making that happen.
The money raised here has helped me run my business and to keep working on my books during this very trying time.
I am very grateful to all of you.
I just wanted to thank Jennifer and Domenica for making this happen. I am really grateful. Thank you to all of you who have sent in donations, prayers, emails, hugs, flowers.. everything... thank you so so so so much.
I hope this book will be of at at least a little bit of help those who need it.