Thursday, August 09, 2012

Why Did I Leave Out What I Left Out?

If you know the story of Saint Therese really well, you might notice something missing from my story about her.  Anyone know what it is? Yes, I did not include the fact that her mother died when she was only four years old. Yes, that was an integral part of her life story. So why did I leave it out?

As a young child, did you like to see those you love suffer?  Not that we "like" it at any age, but we can come to accept it a little better as we grow older. But even as a mature adult, I once put down a fiction book because the author introduced a character and then killed that character in the first chapter (okay, I'm a softie).

Yes, suffering is a part of life, and accepting it is a part of the Christian life, and Jesus died on the Cross.  But Jesus is Jesus, and a little girl is someone little boys and girls can identify with. And I wanted my book to appeal to the young children, to everyone, actually, but especially to the 7 and 8 year old to read it, and to their younger siblings to listen to it.

So if your child already knows that the mother of Saint Therese died, that's okay. I'm not criticizing that. But I just did what I felt was best for a book going out to many children, and that was to shield the young children from identifying with a young child and then finding out, right away that, horror of horrors, she lost her mother.

For those children who do, or have, lost a parent at a young age, by all means, share with them, if you like, that Saint Therese did too. Perhaps it will comfort them a bit. And for the rest of the children, if your child wants to learn more about Saint Therese, to do more reading about her, of course he or she will learn about the death of Therese's mother when she was so young. I just wanted to delay that a bit.  To let them get the strength for it first. And to let them feel the joys of her life and be attracted to her goodness. 

God bless us all.

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