Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Ragdoll and The Marine...

I just finished reading a book written by my former co-worker, Nicole A. Calvo, titled, "The Ragdoll and The Marine, A Memoir".  While we are all doing our 'Social Distancing' from one another, on this small island of Guam, what better way to pass the time, then to read a book written by a local author, and colleague!! Haha...
 Preface, I got this book as a birthday gift from my daughter Tabytha, because she knew I had been wanting to read it for some time. I believe, I had first seen an ad for it on facebook or perhaps, it was in the Guam PDN. I read an article saying, that it was about my former co-worker Mrs. Natividad Calvo, we lovingly called, Mrs. Natty. Little did I know, that it was her daughter Nicole, who had written it! The short excerpt, shared that the story was about a little girl during the Liberation of Guam, in 1944 by the Americans, from the Japanese during the Occupation of Guam. I was like wait, how come I never heard this story?

I don't think I even recall Mrs. Natty, sharing it with the students or with faculty and staff. I thought to myself, well, perhaps it was something private at the time, and there were painful memories. In 2016, during the time the book was released, our island's Manamko' or Elderly, were recounting the War's atrocities, because our Congress Delegate was fighting for some type of compensation for what the Chamorros endured. I became intrigued. I've worked with both Mrs. Natty and Ms. Nicole, they are loving, and kind co-workers, that fought so hard for our school to get back into its present day home, that was ravaged by Typhoon Paka, back in 1997. For this reason, it made me want to read it even more so...
 I sat back on my chair, put my feet up on the bench, and began to read. Basically, I could not put the book down. Talk about a walk down memory lane for sure! Nicole had me entranced, as I read the beginning of how Nicole grew up longing for Barbie dolls and wanting them from the 60s. The heart break of never getting them like her cousins for Christmas, and how she couldn't understand why her Mother was always giving them Rag dolls instead.... brought back, so many memories of mine as a child growing up around the same time frame. But, this time, reading her story and her mother's story of why the rag doll was so important to her.
 Even Nicole's journey as an educator, and having a longing for something new, something different in life. Was very similar to my journey in my mid 20's prior to working at the same school, and coming back home to Guam... The importance of finding oneself, and what God has planned for each of us. Along with the signs, that somehow help us to know what he wants us to see, were present in everything that Nicole experienced and did to help her Mom realize her dream of meeting the soldier who gave her a gift, that gave her hope. Towards the last few chapters, Nicole had me crying. Mostly because she made me think of my own mother, who has since passed away. The fact that Nicole was present with her Mom, when that journey came to fruition, was just touching. You as a reader, felt like you were with them,  at each step.

I also, liked how Nicole noted, the steps, that our delegate in Congress was taking to make sure her Mom, Mrs. Natty, and many of our island's Manamko's, like my Dad, Juan, to be recognized and thanked by the US government for their sacrifice during the Japanese Occupation. The book is very fitting, now that Congress has approved the War Claims for Guam, just last month. Talk about signs...

Now, if only our island and its people can be given a choice to decide whether we can govern ourselves or become a state... Maybe, that will be next, if we can just make it through this pandemic, perhaps?

Well, if you get a chance to, I think you'll enjoy reading this book. I recommend it, especially, if you are a child of an active duty military, a Chamoru from Guam or just enjoy reading inspiring stories of fate and God's will. I think you will enjoy this book!

You can purchase her book on her website or find it on Amazon on kindle too! On island, at Bestseller Stores, at The Guam Museum or where most books are sold.

Thank you for stopping by! ~ ggsdolls

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