Page 4 - NewFamilyJune05

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This book began from a hospital bed one morning in the spring of 1942.
The girl next to me had died in the night.
When I awoke I saw her curtain was pulled open. Her bed was empty and
freshly made. Her brush and comb and comic books were gone off the night
stand. The wood crutches she used were no longer leaning against the wall.
There was no trace of her. Nobody said anything and I didn’t ask. I knew she
was dead.
I don’t remember the girl’s name. She was thirteen and I was ten and we
both had bone cancer. The two of us were just passing through and had a brief
encounter. But I can still see her long brunette hair with the pretty curls at the
tip, her pale oval face, and her smile.
Eventually I thought, “Why had my life been spared and not hers? Was
there a reason? A purpose for me to fulfill?” I didn’t know, but I did know that
because I was alive I owed something. For both of us.
The work I do now as a marriage and family therapist came out of a
conscious desire to work with families. In hindsight, it was also an unconscious
ferocity to grasp the meaning of pain in my life caused by certain relationships.
It has taken me a lifetime to get clear about that, but now that I have it seems
obvious that the next step is to pass on what I have learned in a simple and
forthright manner, hoping it will help others.
The writing of this book has taken seven years. Many have helped and
encouraged me along the way. The first was an old friend, author Phyllis
Theroux, who also became my editor. In the beginning I resisted writing a self-
help book. I simply wanted to write stories because I like to read stories. But
the manuscript refused to budge beyond a certain point.
As my resistance to writing a self-help book softened, the film and stage
producer, Walt deFaria, walked into my life. He became my second editor.
Walt’s coaching and his experienced hand helped me to find my writer’s voice
and keep it clear. After that the book flowed happily.
A C K NOW L E D GM E N T S
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