Dear Family and Friends,
In July, I got a message from a Dr. Lisa Belisle asking if I would be willing to be interviewed for her Dr. Lisa Radio Hour and Podcast. She had picked up my first book from our local bookstore, Longfellow Books – Sing to Me and I Will Hear You – The Poems. I immediately said yes because I was just completing Sing to Me and I Will Hear You – The Love Story (which is now at my publisher’s) and such an interview would serve to promote both books, I told her, and the CD of my reading the poems. The radio interview took place in August, but was aired yesterday. Here is the link for this 34 minute radio interview called “Love, Spirituality & Self”: http://chirb.it/NHJpIC
Shortly after this interview, I was asked by Sophie Nelson, Assistant Editor of Maine magazine, if I would be willing to be interviewed for that magazine’s “Wellness” column. That’s when I realized that Dr. Lisa’s partner, Kevin Thomas, is publisher of Maine magazine. So I agreed again, for the same reason.
The online copy here -- http://themainemag.com/play/wellness/2354-elaine-g-mcgillicuddy.html -- has more photos in it than the actual magazine has (November 2013 issue). The photos were taken by the gifted photographer, Patryce Bok.
Lee Slater, my goddaughter, Rowan’s father, said about Sophie’s “Wellness” profile, “. . . the house of our Love”: “The article captures the essence of you, and your relationship with Francis, perfectly.”
You can imagine how grateful I am for these unlooked-for developments. They will, I hope, incline people to read Sing to Me and I Will Hear You – The Love Story when it comes out early in 2014. It’s not only a love story whose blessing is too rich for me to keep to myself, but there is much in the book about Francis’ last 100 days. I had to tell that story too, to celebrate Francis’ extraordinary patience and inspiring courage in facing his death.
I was very interested to learn more about Dr. Lisa Belisle. She is doing great work in Maine and beyond. Here are two links that lead to information about her -- when she became a doctor: http://www.drlisabelisle.com/1995/10/road-to-md.html . . . . and when she started her radio hour podcast: http://collegenews.org/faculty-focus/2011/lisa-belisle-%E2%80%9992-hosts-new-%E2%80%98dr-lisa-radio-hour-podcast%E2%80%99.html
It was gratifying to learn that the late Hanley Denning of Yarmouth, the founder of “Safe Passage” in Guatemala http://www.safepassage.org/history was Dr. Lisa Belisle’s classmate.
Thank you all for your kindness towards me, and for supporting me and my call to keep writing. I’m now working on the second half of Sing to Me and I Will Hear You – The Unpublished Poems and Journals.
It’s only six weeks away, now, from the fourth anniversary of Francis’ death on January 3, 2010. Writing has been a healing channel for my grief, but remembering what it was like accompanying him as he embarked on that greatest of journeys, I ask you to pray for Francis’ and my longtime friend, Joe Brannigan, and his wife, Claire, who is a nurse. Claire told me that the fast onset leukemia that surprised Joe is “not amenable to treatment.” I brought them a spiral-bound copy of Sing to Me and I Will Hear You – The Love Story with the numbers of pages listed where they were mentioned, so they could read what I wrote about them, especially Joe, in the first and second chapters. I met Joe when, as a nun, I met Francis, a priest. Francis and I were both newly assigned to Waterville, Maine that same year, that same month. That’s where the love story started, and where the book starts. There's clearly more than coincidence or chance at work here; I call it Providence. Because of it, it’s Thanksgiving for me every day.
You can be sure I also give thanks for the inestimable gift of family and friends whom Francis and I appreciated, and I continue to value - each one of you.
Joyous Thanksgiving to all!