Foreward by Shaquille O'Neal
To be quite honest, I had really looked forward to reading this book mainly because of it being written by the mother of Shaquille O'Neal.
I do recall Shaq's early NBA days. I personally own several of his rookie cards to this day. I am also Los Angeles Lakers fan and always will be. But this book isn't all basketball. This is a book about life.
Everyone has a story. But not everyone recognizes the fact. Lucille's own story begins from her earliest complicated memories. The reason I use the word complicated with the word memories is because
after reading just a few pages, I could personally relate with Lucille. Although it's not because I am an Afro American, because I am not. It has it's own reasons, which I will not delve in here.
As I read this book, there were times that I truly felt as if I was somehow there in person all along. I felt her confusion as she tried to make sense of who were her parents, why were her parents and who was she? I saw that awkward, too tall girl. I watched as she tried early on, to accept the way things were. But at the same time, I became aware of her earliest and deepest feelings of loss.
I appreciated the fact that Lucille was able to "tell" on herself which is a very hard thing to do sometimes. She was honest and real. Just since reading this book, I feel as if I know this woman. The deep longing and never ending love for her mother was so strong and pure from the heart. I felt that it was perfect example of how important it is to have faith like a child, which is truly is a gift from God. Her early loss of that mother's love shaped her so much but never broke her. It brought tears to my own eyes as I read of Odessa Chambliss passing away. But there really is something good that comes from pain and we see that with the Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund that the O'Neal family created. But it goes so much deeper. Lucille is an inspiration.
The only part of the book that has bothered me was her actual divorce from Phil. It is wonderful to be able to finally "find" oneself but to actually divorce Phil just made me feel sad. I guess I thought that there must be a renewed relationship eventually, despite the separation because I felt as if that would be a given. God does have His own ways. But despite my wish for a different ending, I got so much out of reading Lucille O'Neal's "Walk like you have somewhere to go."