“As I sat on the floor and watched Dylan carefully unwrap the packages my mother had given him, I grew more and more concerned with each one. Inside this box was a girl’s grey cardigan sweater with a wide neck and small pearl buttons. In fact, each box he opened contained clothing for a little girl, certainly not appropriate for her 8 year-old grandson.”
And so begins the family’s realization that something is terribly wrong.
As Suzanne’s mother’s memory fades and she can no longer recognize her daughter, Suzanne struggles to reconcile the memory of her mother with a relationship that often left her feeling disconnected and alone. The book pays particular attention to the relationship between author and her dynamic, Medici-esque matriarch mother, who raises her daughter in her own image. As the author grows and begins to branch out in order to find her own identity, she faces the challenge of separating from a mother who refuses to see her for who she is and in so doing, withholds her acceptance. And although her life is filled with many successes; a successful career, a husband, children and a comfortable home, it is her mother’s acceptance that she most longs for, never giving up hope that someday she will earn what she most desires.
The Cardinal Club: A Daughter’s Journey to Acceptance is the story of a daughter’s efforts to make amends with her mother following her death from Alzheimer’s disease.It is an openhearted, deeply compassionate story about facing difficult truths and a journey that leads, unexpectedly, to discovering unconditional love.
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Throughout her 30 year career as a licensed clinical social worker, Suzanne Maggio has helped hundreds of families improve their relationships by encouraging them to open their hearts and share their stories. She now trains the new generation of helpers as a university lecturer in Psychology, Counseling and Social Work. The granddaughter of Italian immigrants, she grew up understanding the importance of family and the pleasures of gathering around a dining room table laden with good company and delicious food. Passionate about travel, cooking and sports, Suzanne is an avid baseball fan. She attended her first New York Mets baseball game at the age of eight with her grandfather, a former sports writer from Italy. In 2016 she won a silver award from Travelers Tales for “Yo Soy,” a story about the search for identity while traveling in Nicaragua. Suzanne’s memoir, The Cardinal Club, was published by Adelaide Books. Her work has also been published in Sonoma Family Life, an award winning parenting magazine and Junior Baseball Magazine.
She lives in Northern California with her husband, where they raised their two sons and where they now manage two rambunctious dogs and a brood of demanding chickens.