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Peace Mom: A Mother's Journey Through Heartache to Activismby Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Lee Miller SheehanThis book is the heartbreaking story of how my son Casey inspired me to give my dash meaning and to make him as proud of my life as I always was of his.
Casey started screaming the minute his head popped out of my birth canal at 1:01 a.m. on May 29, 1979. Looking back with hindsight, I know he didn't want to enter this "vale of tears," but he had to. He had a mission.
On May 29, 1979, I gave birth to my son. My darling boy. The old soul with the wise eyes that could penetrate my soul from the time those eyes opened.
I gave physical birth to Casey on that glorious day in May. On April 4, 2004, Casey died. He was killed in Iraq in an ambush by the al Sadr resistance fighters. He died going to rescue his buddies. He was shot in the back of the head while he was riding in the rear of a trailer in Sadr City, Baghdad.
I didn't know it then, but I know it now. When Casey died in that back alley of Baghdad, five days after he arrived "in country," he gave spiritual birth to his real mom. The real mom who was hiding behind her ignorance, faith, marriage, family, and comfort began to emerge on April 4.
As I lay in a crumpled heap screaming on the evening of April 4 after the merchants of death and doom came to my house to tell me my son was dead, something snapped. Something had to. No one can take that kind of physical and psychic pain without snapping.
The angels didn't take me that day. I now know as I was screaming "No, no, no! Not Casey, oh God, no!" over and over again, I made a choice and an agreement with the universe.
I had to decide something in my heart and soul. Would I stay here and fall into a depression of grief and regret? Would I voluntarily leave and join Casey through suicide? Or would I stay and fight? At that moment, my soul chose to stay and fight.
How else can I explain the source of strength and courage that has poured into me and through me beginning with the awful moment I learned that he had been prematurely taken from me and our family?
Casey's life was and has been a source of that courage and strength.
This book is a celebration of Casey's extraordinary life.
This book is also an odyssey of one mom's journey from a place of pure pain to one of pain that is also infused with joy and hope.
This book is a story of one mom's journey from being a "normal" mom to one who went to the seat of power and challenged the king and triumphed and who meets and is lauded by heads of state and also vilified and hated by other heads of state and much of the American media.
This book is a story of one mom's journey from believing that her son was a "war hero" to believing that her son died as a victim of the war machine.
This is a book of one mom's journey from ignorance of history (even though, ironically, she majored in history) to being an active participant in making history and having an effect on social change.
This is a book of one mom's journey from trusting her leaders even when they so brazenly take our country to bogus war, to one of pacifism and nonviolence at all costs.
I hope you enjoy my book because, above all, this is a book about my journey from being an apathetic consumer of physical comforts and the American way to being an activist who struggles against physical comforts and the American way for violence and the military-industrial complex.
This book is also the love story between Casey and me and our love for humankind and peace. How our lives became intertwined with some amazing and good people, but how we also became enmeshed in the dark world of some very bad people.
This is my story of how one person can, should, and must make a difference. This is the incredible story of how I went from being Mom to four to being the "Peace Mom" to thousands.
The journey is in the dash.
I hope Casey's story and my story inspire you to expand your dash and infuse it with meaning, laughter, dancing, hope, love, and, most of all, life.
Copyright © 2006 by Cindy Sheehan
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