Suzanne was recently interviewed on the podcast Authors Over 50.
WATCHING FOR DRAGONFLIES
A CAREGIVER’S TRANSFORMATIVE JOURNEY
BY SUZANNE MARRIOTT ‧ RELEASE DATE: JUNE 6, 2023
Marriott’s memoir recounts a woman’s journey through loss and grief.
The author’s world turned upside down on May 28, 1996, when she received a call informing her that her husband, Michael, a truck driver, was unable to climb into his cab. They soon discovered the reason for his sudden bouts of muscle weakness: multiple sclerosis. Marriott details the highs and lows (and all the moments in between) of caring for Michael over the next decade until his death on New Year’s Day, 2006. Interspersed among the narrative of the stressful ongoing medical battle—including accounts of firing an incompetent doctor and advocating for Michael’s care in an acute-care facility with deplorable conditions—the author reflects on memories of their early days as a couple. Marriott herself was diagnosed with colon cancer in the course of caring for her husband. Through it all, she maintains a spiritual perspective on both of their illnesses: “The spirit of the cancer appears to me as a messenger—perhaps Hermes…He ‘whispers in my ear’ that I must get back on my transpersonal path, and I must make that my first priority. To do so, I have to trust my intuition.” Spirituality is a central theme throughout the memoir, as the author describes studying meditation at a Rigpa sangha (a spiritual community), practicing Buddhism after Michael’s death, attempting psychosynthesis (a visualization technique), hypnotherapy, and embarking on a shamanic journey. Marriott’s descriptions of these practices may help readers find a method that works for them throughout their own health journeys. The author holds up a mirror to herself and to her relationship, refusing to shy away from the hard parts of her story—not just the pain of watching Michael’s health fail, but also the rough patches in their marriage. This unflinching approach goes hand-in-hand with her warm tone that reassures readers that it will all be alright in the end.A moving story of love, loss, illness, and the beauty that persists.
Readers’ Favorite Review
Watching for Dragonflies
A Caregiver’s Transformative Journey by Suzanne Marriott
Non-Fiction – Memoir 320 Pages
Reviewed on 03/30/2023
Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers’ Favorite
A visit to the neurologist reveals that Suzanne Marriott’s husband, Michael, is suffering from MS. From that moment, Suzanne must come to terms with the reality of being a caregiver and foregoing her plans and expectations about her marriage. By learning psychological and spiritual information and applying them to her situation, Suzanne grows in several areas she struggles in, including selflessness, self-awareness, and empathy. When diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, she pulls through with the support and care she learned from loved ones, acquaintances, and medical professionals. Watching for Dragonflies by Suzanne Marriott is a fascinating, heartwarming story about the transformation experienced through caring for a loved one facing serious health challenges and surviving a life-threatening illness.
Watching for Dragonflies is never boring or monotonous. Each part is quickly followed by a different phase reflecting Michael’s changing health situation and the couple’s transformation and growth. Suzanne Marriott gives us a glimpse of the past and seamlessly integrates it with current events in the story. She doesn’t hold back from sharing her profound core challenges as a caregiver and insightful details about her marriage. I found it unique and inspiring that the couple worked hard to keep their love alive and their sex life active while facing serious health challenges. This story proves we all need one another through happy times, sad times, and every stage in life. Suzanne shows us that moments of pain and pressure can transform one into a more conscious, empathetic, and resilient person. What a highly inspiring and impactful book!
Listen to Suzanne’s interview on Big Blend Radio.