Thursday, December 30, 2010

Books of the Month

I've decided to list books I've read each month on the last Friday of the month. I want to see how many I read in the next year. December's won't count, but I wanted to mention them anyway. You'll see that my reading tastes are eclectic. I read fiction, non-fiction, poetry, books on widowhood and grief. Some are book club choices--I belong to two book groups, but one reads only short stories. Some are what one book club member calls Guilty Pleasures. Others are just topics I find interesting. So here's my list for December:

12 Secrets for Healing by William Hablitzel, M.D. He's the kind of doctor you'd like to have and his stories about his patients are inspiring.

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson. This isn't a newly released book. I picked it up at a book swap and really enjoyed it. The setting, an island in the Pacific Northwest, is beautifully described; it's a character in itself. This book is a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, a love story, and a study of prejudice. I recommend it.

God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter by Stephen Prothero. A professor of religious studies, he asks his first year students to invent a religion. He discusses each of the eight religions in terms of its view of mankind's problem and that religion's solution. Interesting. One of the reviewers on Amazon remarked that it was a Reader's Digest view of religion. Maybe so, but I enjoyed it.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. His magnificent story of a brutal murder in Kansas and the two killers who committed the crime.

Cry of the Giraffe by Judie Oron. A Young Adult book based on the true story of a young Jewish girl in Ethiopia and how she made it to Israel.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quotes for the New Year

Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits. ~Author Unknown

No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam. ~Charles Lamb

New Year's Day is every man's birthday. ~Charles Lamb

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. ~Hal Borland

New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. ~Oprah Winfrey

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

Please Visit Cheekyness

Check out to see Su's end-of-year blog awards. Hint: There's one for widowsphere.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Interview with Susan Berger, Author of The Five Ways We Grieve

Susan, would you begin by briefly describing the five ways of grieving you mentioned in your book.

The five ways of grieving represent the different responses of survivors to losing their loved one. I named them:

1. Nomads are characterized by a range of emotions, including denial, anger and confusion, about what to do with their lives. In the acute stages of grief, most grievers are Nomads. If they do not go through the necessary process of grieving, they may develop complicated grief based on unresolved issues related to their loss. Unlike the other types, Nomads have yet to find meaning from their loss and create a sense of purpose for their changed lives. They lack a clear identity. The nomad’s challenge is to find an “post-loss identity” that will help them heal from their loss and align with one of the following ways for successful grieiving.

2. Memorialists are people whose main goal is to preserve the memory of their loved ones by creating concrete memorials and rituals to honor them. These range from buildings, art, gardens, poems and songs, to foundations in their loved one’s name. Nowadays, survivors create websites and other media to perpetuate their memories. They maintain connection with their loved one by integrating them into their life through these activities. I found that this is one of the most commonly adopted identities for survivors of loss.

3. Normalizers work to create the kind of life they either lost or wished they had. While they are guided by their loss, their main concern is the quality of their present and future life -- for themselves and their family. They appreciate that life is finite. Their values and priorities reflect their desire for “normalcy” and a good life. Normalizers place dominant priority on their family, friends and community. Normalizers who create new families through adoption after tragic loss of children, spouses who love being married and remarry to recapture that love and security, and adults who replicated their childhood dreams through their own families are examples. Many survivors choose this path for healing.

4. Activists have an increased awareness of the time-limited nature of existence, along with a desire to make a difference. Hungry for intense and varied life experiences, they are oriented primarily toward the future, striving for meaning through the positive impact they can make on people and the world. Their values and priorities are directed toward making this world a better place for all people, improving the quality of life, and sharing their hearts and minds with others. Often they devote themselves to contributing to the issues or causes that resulted in their loved one’s death. Some write books, enter public service, and join professions that help others.

5. Seekers look outward to the universe and ask the universal questions about their relationship to others and the world. Typically, Seekers experience their loss as a catalyst for spiritual or philosophical inquiry into the meaning of life. They tend to believe that humans are intended to fulfill some specific purpose in life, often acknowledging transcendence between this life and other forms of reality. Seekers value connection with each other, the natural world, and the Divine (however defined). They explore the mysteryr of human experience on this earth and the universe. While a less prevalent Identity, Seekers find comfort in belonging to groups or practicing lifestyles with others who share their spiritual beliefs.

What do you think is the greatest influence on our grieving style?

There are many ways in which individual characteristics influence the way their survivors grieve. After losing a loved one, nothing will ever be quite the same. I think our way of viewing ourselves and the world are changed, too.

I found four significant ways that influence a survivor’s grieving style. I call them ‘The Four Pillars of Identity.’ Survivors change their perspective in the following ways:

1) They become aware of their own mortality. Most people begin realizing that life is not a permanent condition. They begin thinking about their own mortality.

2) They become aware of ‘time’ and the fact that ‘time’ is a precious commodity.’ If everyone dies, we had better use our time wisely. They may have a sense of urgency to ‘hurry up and get as much done as possible, because you never know when your time will end.”

They also consciously and unconsciously develop a primary orientation to time: past, present, or future.

The past: For example, if they focus on the past and cannot move forward, they might become Nomads, who haven’t been able to accept and work through their grief. Those who choose to remember their loved one through their memories of them in the past can grieve successfully by preserving their loved one through various kinds of memorials: foundations and buildings, songs, poetry, photo albums and websites. These are Memorialists.

The present: Normalizers and Seekers learn to live in the moment, appreciate that we cannot change the past or predict the future. We can live in the present, “smell the roses, “ because it’s all we really have.

The future: Those who are oriented to the future often want to make things better for others, motivated by how their loved one died. They join a cause to improve the quality of life, perform a service in the helping professions – so that the future is better than the past or present.

3) Their priorities and values often change. Love and compassion for others is often heightened after losing a loved one. Family may become more important. Work may become less important. Saving money for a “rainy day” may override spending every penny you have. You may have valued your independence, but now choose to develop relationships with others that offer connection.

4) They view their relationship to the world differently. How they see themselves in the world, where they fit may shift. Some become more ‘family-oriented, some get involved in a group or organization that is dedicated to curing a disease, or offer a sense of belonging they lost when their loved one died. Some view the world more cosmically, understanding that our humanity is a small element in the universe.

Do you believe that bereaved people adopt one particular way of grieving that continues throughout life, or do (or can) we change from one to another?

Based on my research and clinical observations with many of my patients, I believe that the different combinations of the ‘four pillars’ create a ‘dominant identity” for most survivors of loss. However, life is not static. Crises could upset one’s established path in life, circumstances change. Individuals evolve based on their experiences over time. This is why I believe that grieving is a lifelong process. For some, the ways they were affected by loss reinforces their sense of identity. Others may shift from one identity to another due to important changes in their lives.

What is most important to me is that survivors know they have choices for how they define themselves after loss. Regardless of the path they take, my hope is that survivors will find a new and fulfilling sense of purpose for their lives.

The holidays are often the most difficult times for those grieving a loss. Do you have suggestions for the various types on how best to manage during the holidays? Or if you have general suggestions, that would be helpful, too.

If you have lost a loved one during the year, I think the five patterns of grieving I described in my book suggest some ways you can find comfort amidst your feelings during the holidays.

• Memorialists can preserve the memory of their loved one by lighting a candle, writing a poem, listening to some special music, or continuing a family tradition in honor of that person.

• Normalizers like to gather family and friends together as they always did when their loved one was alive. In this way, they sustain the memories of the ways they enjoyed being with their loved one during the holidays.

• Activists want to contribute to others as a way of giving back or paying forward. You might feel good about volunteering in activities that relate to your loved one’s death – a hospital, hospice, or charity that was with you in the last days of your loved one’s life.

• Seekers may turn to spiritual thoughts. You may want to spend some time in contemplation at your church, synagogue, mosque or temple. Join with others in your spiritual community connect with nature, pray, meditate, think about what is important to you in life and pursue it.

If you don’t relate to any of these ideas, create your own way to find comfort. Above all, be with others who understand your grief.

Why do you think some are better able to cope with their grief and move on? I don’t mean “move on” as in “get over it;” more as in to re-engage with life, perhaps on new terms. Is it the style they adopt? Something in their own nature? Their other experiences of coping? I ask that because I think the fact that I had a serious accident when I was in college (third-degree burns) and I realized I could overcome all that involved, has given me strength to face other painful situations such as the loss of my husband.

You have developed a great insight, Thelma, about what helps people adapt to significant challenges, such as loss of a loved one. The previous experiences one has and how they met these challenges can contribute to a person’s coping ability. Personality factors such as tending to be optimistic rather than pessimistic about life, having the a “glass half full vs. half empty” attitude can also influence how people cope.

Those who have difficulty often have what we call ‘complicated grief.’ For example, the relationship the survivor had with the deceased can be critical. If they had a dependent or distant relationship; if they had “mixed feelings” or unresolved issues with the person who died; if they wish they had handled things differently before the person died. They may very well have trouble re-engaging with life. They may get “stuck,” due to feelings of anger, guilt, or sadness, unless they can resolve these issues. Often professional help is needed in these situations.

Finally, survivors who have had depression, trauma, or anxiety during their lives may experience loss more intensely. They may experience “multiple losses” involving an accumulation of loss experiences that influence their mental health, and capacity to adjust.

Do you think that sudden, unexpected loss is hardest to deal with, or perhaps watching a loved one who has a long-term progressive disease?

Losing a loved one is painful however it occurs. One of the key differences between these ways of dying is the survivor’s ability to say “goodbye.”

When a person dies of a long illness, the family has the opportunity to assure that their loved one gets the best possible care and is spared any unnecessary suffering. They also have time to prepare, to say “goodbye,” “I love you,” or to share concerns and resolve differences previously not settled. A prolonged illness can offer time to make end-of-life plans and to think about the practical things that have to be done, such as financial affairs, living arrangements, even day-to-day living. Sometimes this advantage is overlooked due to denial

When a death occurs suddenly, preparation is impossible. The element of surprise compounds the inevitable shock a survivor feels. This is often prolonged because of many questions: How did my loved one die? Did they suffer? Who was responsible? What will be done? Accidents and sudden death, such as heart attack, also make it impossible to say “goodbye.” Suicide often brings the survivor additional guilt or responsibility. Violence of any kind raises further questions of finding justice which can prolong the grieving process, as these deaths must go through often lengthy and stressful court procedures.

Survivors of sudden loss may fall under the criteria of “complicated grief.” Joining a support group may be helpful; but often therapy is required.

Thelma, I have enjoyed responding to your excellent questions. I hope they will be helpful to your readers. Thank you. Susan

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Annual Christmas Day Movie

In our family the Annual Christmas Day Movie is an Event. When the whole family was still home, it generated weeks of discussion before we finally chose The Movie. Since Ralph died, one or both of my children has gone to the movie with me to keep the tradition alive.

Some of our best choices have been Schindler's List, Shakespeare in Love, Tootsie. Some of the worst, at least in my opinion, have been Avatar (I hated the story and the big blue people; even the special effects didn't impress me) and Sweeney Todd (great music, but too gruesome--grinding up people and eating them? Come on!)

This year we made a great choice: True Grit. I liked it even better than the original. The little girl was amazing. Even the music was wonderful.

When we first began going to the movies on Christmas Day, we thought we'd come up with our own individual solution to the "What do Jews do when everyone else is celebrating?" problem. Since then I've learned that a movie and Chinese food has become a Jewish Christmas Day ritual. Not religious, of course, but cultural. Why Chinese? Because Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas. If you never eat Chinese the rest of the year, you do on Christmas--sort of the way you eat matzah balls on Passover even if you don't like them.

Anyway, it was a fun day. And I'm grateful to my children for keeping our family tradition going.

See True Grit. Even if you don't like westerns, you'll enjoy this one.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thursday Review:

The winter solstice is over, the darkest day of the year has passed, but for many of us, all these winter days are dark. Did you ever notice that all winter holidays revolve around light--the star in the East, the eight-day miracle of light, the yule log. Since the dawn of time, human beings have craved the light.

This week's review, however, is about darkness--the final darkness. If you've lost a loved one, you've experienced that, but how much thought have you given to your own final moments and how you want to face your own end? As we end this year and begin thinking of New Year's resolutions, you might want to visit I happened upon it recently and learned that their goal, or mission, is to have everyone consider the following five questions:

1. How much/little medical intervention do you want if you have a terminal condition?

2. Where do you want to die? At home or in the hospital?

3. Do you have someone you trust to communicate your preferences to medical personnel? Could this person describe how you wish to be treated?

4. Have you appointed someone to advocate on your behalf?

5. Have you completed a medical power of attorney, living will, or advanced directive?

I've read the questions and pondered them. I realize I need to talk more to my children about my wishes for treatment at the end of life. I know from the story about how this site began, that the organizers believe that dying at home is the best option, but I don't want that for myself. I think the burden on my family would be too great to cope with, and I think I'd prefer to be somewhere where medical personnel were available, like in a hospice. I'd really like to hear opinions on that. Ultimately, everyone's wishes are right for them.

Maybe it's because I'm getting older (I once read a book called Coming into the End Zone--that's where I am in life. Well, I hope not yet, but I'm trying to be realistic) here. Anyway, no matter what your age, these are things to consider, especially now that we're on our own.

On a brighter note, have a good and peaceful weekend, and in spite of the dark, may you find some light in these winter days.

With love, TZ

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quote for the Week: Why Books Make the Best Gifts

Thanks to She Writes for the reasons below to give books as gifts:

Books don't break until you love them so much their spines collapse. And even after that happens they don't get shorter.

Books don't get lost. If you read a book it's yours forever, no matter what happens to the pages it's written on.

Books don't come in the wrong size, or in the wrong color, or with batteries not included. (That's your eReader -- not the book!)

Books don't judge their readers. But books invite the kind of judgment that elevates the discourse, and that sometimes changes the course of things altogether.

A lot of presents say more about you than they do about the person you give them to. But a book speaks for itself.

I think books are the perfect presents. Most years I spend as muuch on books as on clothing. And often I give myself a special holiday gift book from my wish list. But not this year. Alas, I gave myself a toilet. Mine died and flooded the bathroom, so now I have a new, shiny white toilet (elongated shape) and no new books. ):

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Remembering Our White Christmas, Our Final Christmas

Christmas Eve, 2004: Ralph was home from the hospital. He'd done his time in isolation, responded well to the chemo and the leukemia was in remission. He was even driving again. We were hoping one of his siblings would be a good match for a stem cell transplant. We were "cautiously optimistic" about the future. On that December day Ralph went for blood tests while I drove over to Blockbuster to rent a movie. As I got out of my car, a white flake fell on the sidewalk. A man heading for the store stopped and together we stared at the sky. More white flakes. It was actually snowing. In Houston!

I called Ralph on my cell. "Guess what. It's snowing."

"Yeah," he said. "Everyone is at the windows, staring out."

The snow fell all day. I drove over to the Galleria to wander through the stores, enjoying watching last-minute shoppers, Christmas music, the hurry and then the gradual slowing of this last day before the holiday. When I got home, snow was still falling, and it continued through the evening. At midnight we looked outside to see our front yard a lovely white and the snow still gently falling. We put on jackets and ran outside, holding hands, drinking in the beauty of the only white Christmas in Houston history.

It was our last Christmas together.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thursday Review: 12 Secrets for Healing by William Hablitzel, M.D.

I'm not a doctor and probably most of you aren't either, so why am I featuring this book? Well, because in the Forward to this book, Dr. Ken Mapes suggests that these 12 secrets are applicable to everyone, whatever their roles in life. Everyone, he says, can take these rules to heart and become a healer.
Here, then are Dr. Hatlitzel's 12 rules along with my comments on some of them:
1. Start your day in silence. Easy for me; I'm alone. And I don't enjoy morning noise. But he suggests you take a few minutes to close your eyes, relax and enjoy the quiet. That calm feeling will be with you as you move through your day.

2. Listen. It's hard, isn't it, to really listen to others, but often it's the greatest gift we can give.

3. Take time for others. Hablitzel suggests you should never look at your watch during an encounter with someone.

4. Treat everyone as though they were friend or family.

5. Remember the power of touch. For those of us who are widowed, we know the pain of the lack of touch. Even a handshake or a pat on the shoulder can bring healing and joy to someone.

6. Forget your ego. He talks about the arrogance of some professionals. During Ralph's hospital stay we met many of them but we also met some of the most compassionate doctors and nurses. Whatever your job, keep your ego out of it.

7. Dare to believe in miracles, especially true for doctors and other health professionals.

8. Embrace the unknown. Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know" when you really don't. No one has an answer for everything.

9. Be alert for energy. Negative thoughts lower your energy, so try to be positive when dealing with others.

10.Trust your intuition.

11. Treat each encounter as if it were your last. Make it count.

12. End your day with silence. I often fall asleep with the TV on--not a good idea according to Hablitzel. We're exposed to way too much noise in our lives. Turn the volume down.

If we use these secrets when we interact with others, won't we also help heal ourselves?

I'm Guest Blogging Today...Come and Visit

Today you can find my guest blog on Chandra Hoffman's blog. My topic is A Writer's Meandering Path, about my writing life.

And by the way, while you're there, check out the trailer for Chandra's book, Chosen. Looks great!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Quote for the Week

Christmas gift suggestions

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.
Oren Arnold

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Favorite True Christmas Story

A guy named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty

apartment window into the chilling December night. His 4-year-old

daughter, Barbara, sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bobs wife, Evelyn,

was dying of cancer. Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy

could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dads eyes and asked,

"Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?" Bob's jaw

tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of

grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob's life. Life

always had to be different for Bob. Being small when he was a kid, Bob

was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to

compete in sports. He was often called names he'd rather not remember.

From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did

complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his

job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression.

Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived.

Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob

and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the

Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938. Bob

struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to

buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn't buy a gift, he was determined

a make one - a storybook!

Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the

animal's story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again

and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling.

Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May

ceated was his own autobiography in fable form The character he

created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A

little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.

Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on

Christmas Day. But the story doesn't end there. The general manager of

Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May

a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on

to print, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and distribute it to children

visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and

distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a

major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an

updated version of the book. In an unprecedented gesture of kindness,

the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a

best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now

remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he

created to comfort his grieving daughter

But the story doesn't end there either. Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny

Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned

down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was

recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed

Reindeer" was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling

more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of "White

Christmas." The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so

long ago kept on returning to bless him again and again. And Bob May

learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being

different isn't so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Instead of a review today, I'm posting trivia: some facts, some questions I'll answer the questions in the Comments section. Feel free to add some trivia of your own.

Cats sleep longer than any other mammal, an average of 16 hours a day.

The divorce rate among New York marathon runners is twice the national average.

Men speak about 2,000 words a day; women, 7,000.

An average beaver can cut down 200 trees a year.

The first commercial Christmas cards were printed in 1846.

Joel Poinsett, ambassador to Mexico, introduced the first poinsettias to the U.S. in 1828.

When Yale and Harvard played football in 1955, who scored the only touchdown?

What are the only 2 words in English that end in gry?

What do you call a group of apes?

What do you call a group of chickens?

What bird migrates the longest distance of any animal?

In what country was the real St. Nicholas born?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Wishes

Whether you celebrate



or Kwanzaa,

May the lights of the holiday shine upon you
And bring you peace and joy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Special Review: On the Doorposts of All Our Houses by Donna Siegel

Let me start with a disclaimer. I know Donna Siegel. She and I are fellow members of the Houston chapter of The Transition Network.

But that's not why I chose to review her book. I'm reviewing it because I loved it!

It's the classic immigrant story. Her parents left their small Eastern European communities to come to America. One family ended up in Nebraska, the other in Iowa. Sounds like, as Ashkenazic Jews, they'd have been fish out of water in both those midwestern states. But they managed. And so did Donna. Structuring her story around the many houses she lived in, Donna shares her childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, from early marriage when women were expected to stay home and manage the house, to divorce and independence. Only in America could the daughter of immigrants end up in a high rise condominium in Houston and become an author.

She took tap dancing lessons, dreaming of becoming a Jewish Shirley Temple. She learned about the workings of her Iowa grandfather's fish market. She and her peripatetic family moved to Chicago where she joined a high school sorority and began writing skits, a talent that would carry over into the rest of her life.

She met the handsome prince that every young girl was supposed to meet in those years, married him, gave birth to three children, wrote more skits, learned to cook...but didn't live happily ever after. At least not with him--she has led a pretty darn happy and fulfilling life without the prince.

With insight and wit, Donna takes us along on her journey. This book will make you laugh. You'll cheer Donna on during every step of her life, and by the time you finish, you'll agree with me that, although she didn't become Shirley Temple, she's a star in her own right.

You can find On the Doorposts of All our Houses on Amazon.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

I recedntly read Room by Emma Donoghue. Short-listed for the Booker Prize, it is a story that stays in your head long after you put it down. Without revealing too much, I can tell you it's written from the viewpoint of five-year-old Jack, a boy who has never known a world beyond the small room where he and Ma, his mother, are imprisoned. Here he spends his days unaware of the world outside, which he believes is an imaginary place in the TV. Here he sleeps at night in a wardrobe, shielded from the visits of Old Nick, his mother's rapist and jailer. A grim premise for a novel, right? But Jack and Ma make the most of their tiny world, and they love each other unconditionally. And then---

But you have to read to find out what happens. Suffice it to say, it's fascinating and thought-provoking. Put it on your holiday wish list; take time to read it. You won't forget Jack or Ma.

You may wonder, and I asked myself, why did I choose to review this book, which has nothing to do with widowhood? Well, maybe, in a way, it does. Often in this new, unwished for life, we, too are prisoners. Of loneliness, of grief, of fear. Our "rooms" are small; our bundaries are tight. Breaking out--even taking one small step--into a new life may be scarier than staying inside. But I believe we have to try. The new world we enter may seem unfeeling, unfriendly, but it can be wider and more fulfilling.

Do Jack and Ma try? Read and find out.

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