Tolstoy was so wrong when he began Anna Karenina with the oft-quoted sentence: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Our happy, Eisenhower-era family had its ups and downs, happy moments and unhappy ones, none of them at all like those of other families. We never considered ourselves an "unhappy family," even though we had unhappy moments; and in our happy moments, we still felt different from other families in our happiness.
|Author Jack Sheedy|
|A poignant work of hope|
My goal was not to get readers to say, "Oh, poor Jack!" I wanted them to say, "Poor me! I wish I had known Peggy!" If I had tried to elicit pity for myself, most likely readers would have thought, "Get over it already. So you had a tough time. Who hasn't? Deal with it!"
Before attempting to write, I had to get to a place where I no longer needed pity. I had to get to where I could feel hope. I recalled the reactions of other family members and acquaintances to this and to other misfortunes, and in every case I saw people taking positive control of their lives — getting more involved in church or community activities, reaching out to even less fortunate people, saying a kind word. I was amazed at the depth of their faith. They seemed to echo the words of Job: "Shall we receive good from God and shall not receive evil?"
The heat bug stings us all, sooner or later. We won't see it coming. We won't know just why it stings. We won't know what we might have done to bother it. But if we're lucky, we will survive it. We might even get healthier because of it.
To learn more about Sting of the Heat Bug, go to Signalman Publishing, where there is a link to both the paperback edition and the e-book.