Life—Always a Choice of Doors is the second installment of Ruth Lampe’s memoirs. While Surviving Mental Illness centered on Lampe’s life with her husband, this latest work travels further back in time to her childhood during the Great Depression. With her alcoholic father unemployed and her family of six living on food rations, Ruth learned from her gentle mother to choose to see “the grandeur of life” rather than the frustrations.
Lampe’s life experiences have a simple charm that is endearingly fascinating. When it’s her turn to climb the ladder to pick fruit from the backyard sour cherry trees for a day of canning with her mother, for example, we can empathize with her childish fears. From the novelty of the family phone that shared a line with the neighbors to the innocence of young sweethearts at the weekend high school dances, Lampe takes us on a leisurely stroll through yesteryear.
The quiet calm and godly example of her mother’s unfaltering love binds this story together and weaves an inspiring theme of grace through its pages. Lampe writes to her mother, “You gave us all the instruction we needed for life, just by the way you led your life and we always knew who led you.”
This book is more than just a memoir. Complete with historical timelines, photos, personal letters from German relatives after WWII, we have a detailed and vivid look at a period in our nation’s history. Though some of the passages in the book are repeated in several places, the memoir is historically educational, entertaining, and will inspire parents to prepare their children for the difficulties of life by teaching them to surrender their lives to God’s love and to “celebrate in the midst of sorrow” for “this is all part of our journey.”
Also available in hardcover.