From the age of three, when she is placed in a children’s home, Sally faces life alone. Her inner voice says, “I am my family. Wherever I go, my family will go. I will never leave me.” The memoir, COME GALLOPING BACK, is her journey into young adulthood and her search for family love.
Sally’s husband, John, is a fighter-pilot whose jet is shot down over North Vietnam. She is told there was radio contact with him from the ground but because it is dusk a rescue can’t be attempted until first light. As she anxiously awaits news of his rescue, Sally’s thoughts drift back to her early childhood, five years of lonely institutional living. Then she was moved to a foster home where she lived for only one year, but where she understood the meaning of family for the first time. As Sally was removed from this home, her foster mother gave her a pin of a galloping horse and said, “When you need me, pin this next to your heart, close your eyes, and come galloping back. I’ll be there with my arms open wide.” The reader is returned to the young wife who learns her husband’s rescue was unsuccessful. He remains Missing in Action for five years. When the Prisoners of War return without John, a devastating depression takes hold, and Sally finds herself listening to the voice of her childhood once again.
There's an earlier post about the difficulty of memoir. All that applies to this as well.