Swimming with Maya appeared on my TBR (to be read) pile toward the end of my pregnancy. The memoir was said to be “heartbreaking and heart-healing,” but I was pretty sure I would never be able to handle the heartbreaking part under the circumstances. I picked up Swimming with Maya and put it down after a few pages. I loved the story but was fearful of how I might deal with the loss and heartache Eleanor had to endure. Vincent’s writing and her triumphant spirit kept pulling me back in. I was so drawn in by the heart-healing part of the story that I found myself enjoying the memoir so much I couldn’t put it down.
No parent wants to think of the unthinkable death of a child; and yet each of us does. We don’t want anything to happen to our children, and yet as we carry them we fear miscarriage, after they are born we worry about sudden infant death syndrome, then there are school shootings, traffic accidents, etc… since death is a fact of life, we encounter thoughts and fears of loss each and every day. Eleanor Vincent raised her two daughters, Maya and Meghan, virtually as a single-parent and in my opinion this makes the mother-daughter bond even stronger.
It’s impossible to imagine what Eleanor Vincent was feeling when her 19 year old daughter, Maya falls from a horse and is left in a coma which eventually took her life. Eleanor’s made the courageous decision to donate Maya’s organs. Eleanor uses her difficult situation and Maya’s death to tell an inspirational and motivational story and Eleanor is even stronger (as is the reader) at the end of the story.
Swimming with Maya was more about triumph than I had imagined. I was thankful to have read through the difficult times to see the memorable and motivational message. I admire Eleanor Vincent for being able to put her story down on paper for all to read. I cannot imagine the tears that were shed as she relived those moments that would forever change her life. Thank you to Eleanor, Maya, and Dream of Things Publishing for sharing this triumphant story with readers everywhere. My personal thanks to Eleanor for writing in such a way the healing is more pronounced than the hurt – it was this reason alone I was able to read and finish Swimming with Maya.