Five years ago, (time surely flies), my dear friend Judy Simon surprised me and others with her first book, Before the Door Closes.
The book is not that short, yet I read it in no time. Judy’s narration flows effortlessly. The topic is one of no importance to many, yet it concerns most of us, specially as we grow older. Judy found herself with an old and sick father whom she wanted to take care of, and the book is her story of how she went about doing so. While dealing with doctors and different institutions, Judy also opens up about her relationship with her alcoholic father, her own obstacles, -past and present-, and how she found her way in this challenging phase of life.
After the book, she opened a blog entitled Another Perfect Daughter. In it, Judy usually picks a Bible account, and presents it to us from an angle that we may have missed. She’s great at making connections across the centuries between the lives of those men and women of the Old and New Testament, and us. She is a close reader of the Scriptures, and I savor each and every of her posts.
Forward to now, and Judy has surprised us once more with her second book Secrets Revisited. The idea for it came to her as she was writing her first book, when she revisited those family secrets of growing up with an alcoholic and abusive father. At the time, alcoholism also brought poverty, -emotional, intellectual, and physical, but not spiritual-.
Judy’s book is easy and difficult to read. Easy from the standpoint of her writing. Unassuming, candid and straightforward, her book flows with ease. Difficult because it’s ever so hard to see all the devastation that alcoholism created in her, her mom, her siblings, and her own alcoholic dad.
Judy exposes her life secrets with a higher goal in mind. She’s not after just venting, or shocking us, she’s offering us her experience as a testimony of hope. If life is not reduced to what happens to us, but it is expressed by our attitude, to how we act and react to that which comes our way, -specially when that is mainly pain and injustice-, this book will inspire you and encourage you to find there’s meaning and purpose in all that hardship. We can survive all that with dignity.
If you want to read a teaser, she offers one here, Secret #33.
It happens that not only had I just written a bit about my own experience with an alcoholic mom, and a father who drank heavily, partied and gambled for most of his life, but last Sunday, Drew Jones preached about alcohol and the Bible, and he too offered us his own experience with an alcoholic dad. You can listen to the lesson here.
Note: if you are in the Houston area and would like to get the book, you can leave a comment here or at Judy’s blog to save on shipping fees.