Friday, May 3, 2013

"Tom T's Hat Rack: A Story About Paying It Forward" by Michele Spry & Illustrated by Peggy A. Guest (Review & Giveaway)

Review: Tom T's Hat Rack is a charming inter-generational story about a little girl who is cared for by an older couple.  Mr. Tucker (Mr. T) is a kind gentleman who like many others has cancer and must undergo treatment of chemotherapy. Like other cancer patients, the treatment cost him his hair. This story touches a tender home-button to me.  You see, a couple of years ago my husband had cancer with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. He, too, lost his hair. At the same time I had a daughter who had cancer and she was undergoing surgery and chemotherapy. And she, too, lost her hair.  Folks, loss of one's hair is akin to losing one's identity.  But to be cured you must put up with the cure and you must cope.

Part of Mr. T's being able to cope was having Shelby in his life. She stayed by his side when he was really feeling the affects of the treatment. He planned his appointments for after school so Shelby could go with him because she was such a help and comfort to him.

After Mr. T was better from his cancer treatments, he decided to do something to help others. Mr. T gets involved with a project. He is handy with tools. And he brings Shelby into his project.  But the object he is working on is a secret until finished. Mr. T creates hat racks for a local hospital and Shelby wants to be part of this act of love and generosity. But as they are making the hat racks, Shelby has no idea what they are making. She is just enjoying her time with Mr. T. and learning so much from him. Through all this, sweet Mrs. T is making sure their tummies are filled with good things to eat.

Shelby's parents live close by and Dr. John (Shelby's Dad) is Mr. T's doctor. So this is all a real good close relationship between the two families. Kindness. Consideration. Appreciation. Love.
Shelby wrote in a school essay: 
"In life we must not hold our hand out and ask, "What's in it for me?" but rather ask, "What can I do for others?"

This thought provoking, insightful story is a tastefully presented story of cancer. But it is also a story of compassion and how each of us can be helpful to others and give of ourselves to their need.  In other words, "Paying it forward."
 

GIVEAWAY: The author has graciously offered to provide a copy for one of Chat With Vera's readers.  Just use the Rafflecopter entry form and let's see who will be blessed to receive this inspiring story. Begins May 4 and ENDS May 20 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. Open to USA mainland residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
"And who are these folks?", you ask.
Well, they are "Tom T" and the author!

About Michele Spry: My good friend, Tom Trabue, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2012. To watch Tom go through chemotherapy and radiation, yet always remaining so positive, was such an inspiration. A long time ago, I decided to live my life by paying it forward to others as often as I could and try to encourage others to do simple acts of kindness for random strangers. I began writing this book with those two inspirations. Links of interest:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SPRYPublishing

Twitter: ms_spry

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102593405488658425080/102593405488658425080/posts

Website: www.michelespry.com

29 comments:

  1. A very close friend had cancer and I think that just talking about it with her helped her. They did not tell her anything about it even when she asked - what stage, how the chemo treatments are going. The appointments were at several different facilities at varying times of the day - she was trying to work during all this since she worked for a government agency and some government agencies are exempt from providing have paid leave or disability insurance so she would have lost her job and had no income.

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    1. Emi, what a sad story. To not know the details (as much as one can absorb when so sick) and to be in fear of losing employment. Very hard.

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  2. Happy thought - someone sent this to me - Today I was traveling in Kenya and met a refuge from Zimbabwe. He said he had not eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was....We can share it.

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    1. Emi, some of the first Bible verses I taught my children was "Love one another" I John 4:7 and "Be ye kind one to another" Ephesians 4:32. If they learn these precepts early in life, they will share as in your story. :)

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  3. I love my grandfather to cancer in Oct. 2012. It was a horrible painful end of life for him. It was hard on me.

    I just learned last night, via text message....probably just too hard to speak about (plus I have 8 siblings, this must be easier) that my sister in law has cervical cancer! she's been in poor health for a long time, battling arthritis, and now this!

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    1. Tami, I know it is hard on your family. Suffering and illness are never easy to endure nor watch a loved one suffer from. But God is always there to comfort and encourage.

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    2. God has his little helpers, like you, to help him out! Thanks~

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    3. What a happy thought! And what a joy to be considered "God's little helper." Thank you!

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  4. Happy Thought: Wisconsin is a place where you can use your furnace and air conditioning in the same day. The day today is beautiful! The four cats enjoyed basking in the sun on the deck. What a beautiful day!

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  5. I visited Spry Publishing on FB.

    https://www.facebook.com/tami.prokupvalentine/posts/468122839924514

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  6. I took care of my mother while she suffered from lung cancer. I held her hand as she took her last breath..It was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do.

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  7. My happy thought for today is "Smile, God loves you!"

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  8. My dad was diagnosed with cancer when my daughter was 7months old. We spent a lot if time with him and I think that really helped not only him but me as well. Sadly he passed away two weeks before my son was born ( just 2 years after he was diagnosed)

    Ashley wheeler
    ash_wheeler@hotmail.com

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    1. So glad you took the time to spend with your Dad when he was sick.

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  9. My happy thought is we just found out we are having another baby!
    ash_wheeler@hotmail.com

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  10. Yes, my aunt is battling cancer.

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  11. Happy thought: All you need is love.

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  12. Sadly, yes. Many, many family members & friends. I lost my dad to cancer 26 years ago when he was 46 years old. My mother is a 5 year lung cancer survivor. All of my dad's siblings, except for one, have also died from cancer.

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  13. A happy thought for today is my all time favorite quote & I try to live my life this way:


    “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

    ― John Wesley

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  14. My happy thought is that God loves us all! Danalee Davis

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  15. one of my church friends volunteered to help me move after my husband died, she was one of the very few people that showed up to help. I didn't know at the time that she was suffering from cancer. My heart just broke with her courage and generosity.

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  16. I've been able to help my dad who has cancer
    hrddiana556@gmail.com

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  17. I am a nurse and take compassionate care of patients every
    day

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  18. My grandpa fought cancer my entire childhood. He passed away when I was 18 and carrying my first child.

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  19. I visited Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/SPRYPublishing/posts/517857851606687

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  20. Happy thought: For all the evil in the world, there is still an awful lot of good. I try to remind myself of this often.

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