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Journey to Joy: An Inspirational Memoir by Joy Walker

Journey to Joy: An Inspirational Memoir

by Joy Walker

352 pages
Faith, perseverance and humor transcend disability, divorce, cancer and more.

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Category: Autobiography
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About the Book
A story of faith and endurance, Journey to Joy chronicles the pilgrimage of a girl in her early teens facing the threat of blindness. She lives near the school for the blind in Jamaica but does not understand the significance of “papers with bumps” thrown out in the trash. After high school, Joy is encouraged by a former elementary school teacher to learn Braille.

The Walker family, parents and five of their seven children, migrates to America in the late 60’s. Joy and her sister Grace, being the oldest, remain behind. At age 22 and unemployed due to her deteriorating vision, Joy travels to Boston on a medical visa in search of a diagnosis and is declared legally blind. She returns to the U.S. as a permanent resident and, through a rehabilitation program for newly blind adults, receives training in psychosocial adjustment to vision loss and adaptive techniques of daily living. Though she struggles to accept her need for the white cane, Joy is the only one who already knows Braille. She describes her grueling journey through college as a legally blind student. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, she works briefly as a counselor, then migrates to California, where she becomes a Braille and Communications instructor with blind special needs adults. After marriage and the birth of her son, Joy becomes a stay-at-home mom, homeschooling her two children for several years. While still reeling from the trauma of a tumultuous marriage and an unwanted divorce, and while trying to keep it together for her young son and daughter, Joy loses her mother. Two weeks after her mother’s burial, she receives the shocking diagnosis of breast cancer. While enduring chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Joy somehow manages to find reasons for humor even as she struggles to raise her children alone. Her suffering is soon heightened by the death of her father and sister, Grace. These losses are followed closely by the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Joy candidly describes her grief, which is intensified by the drama of single-parenting through teenage “testosterone-driven madness.” Joy continues to face various other health crises as she grows older. Her suffering is redeemed as she watches her children mature and become contributing members of society. She also finds purpose in reaching out to fellow sufferers on the journey.

Joy achieves cathartic relief through her poetry as she grapples with life’s perplexities and seeks answers to its riddles. Her verses will transport you through the lows and highs of human emotions. She will have you crying, laughing and singing as you turn the pages.

Her Christian faith enables Joy to rise above her circumstances and to reach out to those in need. Many of her poems are written to encourage others in their struggles. Her ability to find joy in the ashes will challenge you to do the same. Her trust in God to give meaning to her trials, and the many Biblical quotations throughout the book, will certainly inspire you.

 

 

About the Author
Joy Walker Having migrated from Jamaica in the 1970’s, Joy Walker is a divorced single mom with two adult children. She is legally blind, lives in Los Angeles, and is a 20-year cancer survivor. She volunteers as a survivor speaker/poet, is involved in her local church, and serves in convalescent ministry.

 

 

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