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Doubleday, 1976 - Family & Relationships - 160 pages
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The entertaining companion novel to the best-selling The Sweet Second Life of Darrell Kincaid. Michelle Lawrence's perfect life has been just as she's designed it. But then her husband, Chad, ruins everything by taking a job in San Francisco, about as far from their comfortable family home as it's possible to get without actually emigrating. Up until now, Chad's primary focus has been keeping her happy, and Michelle can see no good reason why this should change. But change it has, and Michelle now has to deal with Chad's increasing detachment, while building a new life with her two small children in a place filled with cat-eating coyotes. On top of that, Michelle's oldest friend is turning against marriage while her newest is a little too obsessed with clean taps. And down the redwood-lined street, there's Aishe Herne, a woman who could pick a fight with a silent order of nuns. Aishe has designed her own kind of perfect life, in which there's room for her, her teenage son and no one else. But when cousin Patrick lands in town like a Cockney nemesis, both Aishe and Michelle must begin determined campaigns to regain their grip on the steering wheel of their lives. The Catherine Robertson Trilogy Book 1: The Sweet Second Life of Darrell Kincaid Book 2: The Not So Perfect Life of Mo Lawrence Book 3: The Misplaced Affections of Charlotte Forbes

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A couple of days ago, a high school senior wrote on Facebook that she didn't want to burden people with her troubles. I tried to assure her that those of us who truly care for her would never feel burdened.
That is the heart of Nouwen and Gaffney's book. They advocate being present with the aging and allowing the aging to be present with us, for are we not all aging? Therefore it behooves us all to be transparent. Caring isn't the momentary, superficial visit or entertainment. Caring isn't trying to fix their problems. Caring is being present and listening. After all, Job's friends did well when they sat in silence and they did well when Job began to speak and they listened to him speak. They only went astray when they tried to fix him.
Nouwen and Gaffney make the point of university students being segregated from the population at large as they receive their eduction and what a mistake that is. There is application besides the topic of aging, for example application for the church.
Likewise, the being present and transparent is true for relationships with people of all ages, not just for the aging.


Aging as a Way to the Light

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About the author (1976)

Henri J. M. Nouwen was a Catholic Priest who taught at several theological institutes and universities in his home country of the Netherlands and in the United States. He shared the final years of his life with people with mental and physical disablilities at L'Arche Daybreak Community in Toronto, Canada. He died in 1996. He authoried many books on the spiritual life including Reaching Out, The Wounded Healer, and The Return of the Prodigal Son.

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