Lucia's Story

My Imperfect Beauty

Non-Fiction - Memoir
116 Pages
Reviewed on 05/04/2021
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Author Biography

Hello, I am Bella Lucia & live in the Kansas City area with my husband & our dog, Zoe. I am originally from Washington, PA. I was born in 1951 with a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate. I finally finished my multiple surgeries at age 51. I wore an obturator/prosthesis until my pharyngeal flap in 1989; which was one of my highlight surgeries. I continue to maintain my extensive dental care & bridge which replaces, bone, gums & teeth. I am thankful to all of my providers who enriched my growth & recovery.

I endured tragedy at a young age. My only sibling/sister who also had the same issue plus cerebral palsy died at age 3 when I was 4. My parents divorced 2 years later.
The support system in my home was lacking & I was always seeking support from others. In the 1980’s I formed a support group with 2 other women for women affected by cleft lip & palate. We had one man. It was so rewarding for me!

Along my journey I was bullied & abused. People told me I couldn’t do that. I proved them wrong! I am a retired RN of over 47 years & a retired nurse practitioner after 31 years with specialties in family practice & psychiatry. Plus, I am with the love of my life! I continue to work on my healing from shame, anger & anxiety with activities that I love such as writing, poetry, dance, yoga, travel, being in nature & spirituality.

These events led to writing my story & sharing it with the world!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

Lucia's Story: My Imperfect Beauty by Bella Lucia is an inspiring memoir about the experiences of a woman with a facial difference. It documents her journey of self-discovery and how she was able to release shame and fear and become a fulfilled and vibrant person. Lucia was born with a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate, in 1951, in a small town in Pennsylvania, Washington. During her childhood, her younger sister, Annmarie, who had cerebral palsy and had been born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, died. Her family was devastated. Lucia’s parents later divorced. These crushing events coupled with Lucia’s anxiety of wanting to be accepted by her family led to her isolation.

Lucia's Story documents other difficult stages in her life including an abusive marriage. But Lucia overcame adversity, pursuing higher education and advancing her career in nursing. She also found a great life partner. Her ability to overcome the adversities in her life and the bullying and isolation she endured as a child reveal a spirit of resilience and self-confidence. Her mother, who was thought to have brought shame to the family for the defects in her children, also portrayed courage and resilience. She was keen on taking Lucia to all her medical appointments. The memoir provides enlightening historical and current information about orofacial clefting. Poems are also included. They are a beautiful addition to the text. Where she covers her nursing career, Lucia recounts her experiences with enthusiasm. Her passion for caring for people in all stages of life including infants and the elderly is evident. Lucia's Story: My Imperfect Beauty by Bella Lucia is an informative memoir that any reader will find uplifting.