Barefooted Soul is the memoir of Imelda Roberts a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal Of Honor in 2006. The book with accompanying music CD is a true testament to the American spirit and the human soul as Roberts shares her stories about her life-long journey to success and personal fulfillment. In addition to her personal stories Roberts’ book is abundant with unique and inspirational quotes the author’s poetry and memorable photographs.
Beginning her life as an impoverished but resilient child Roberts became an educated and held a successful supervisory position in the Philippines. After a disappointing turn of events she immigrated to the United States in 1984 with nothing but her own courage and deep sense of faith. Once again starting from humble conditions as a single mother Roberts rose to a high level of achievement and personal fulfillment in the nation’s capital. This is not simply a rags-to-riches story but two rags-to-riches stories which took place in some very challenging environments and under difficult circumstances.
Despite the fact that it took Roberts a good portion of her lifetime to gather the material for this book she was able to complete the manuscript in the biblically significant time period of forty nights culminating in forty life stories contained in her book. This is forty nights of reflecting upon how life can often be overflowing with adversity and how adversity can be turned into triumph. It is how situations and events can be utterly heartbreaking but how heartache and tragedy can eventually be transformed into elation. This is also a story of how forgiveness and an unwavering faith in God can allow someone to overcome any obstacle placed in their path.
Some of the stories she shares have to do with her early childhood and the lessons she learned at a young age while still living in the Philippines. Roberts occasionally illustrates her stories with her heartwarming and humorous style — that mischievous greed and lying can result in a “natural” form of punishment. Such as the story she tells of pretending to faint in order to receive her ration of U.S. Government supplied milk before the other children. Roberts found herself receiving pity and a very generous extra bottle of milk from her school administrators. Drinking the milk in a hurry she found herself “running around the bushes and banana trees to put it back where it belonged.”
Anyone who must face tumultuous circumstances and turbulent times will find Barefooted Soul an encouraging story. It will be an inspiration for those who desire success but feel that the obstacles in their path may be too overwhelming. This is a book that will appeal to single mothers who have no one to rely upon but themselves and their own abilities to provide a quality life for their children. It will connect with anyone who is an immigrant to a foreign country and everyone who dreams of a better life.