The story of my book, “That Melvin Bray”, is written from the memories of an adult Maggie as she relives her past with Lizzy, her best friend of nearly forty years, aka, Dr. Lizabeth Benis, a successful psychiatrist in Boston. As Maggie recants their shared childhood memories, she will also wonder off into her own private thoughts, to you, the reader, allowing an even closer look into her troubled soul.
These two met at the ripe old age of six on the wonderful playground they would share for many years. They were as different as night and day—opposites, however, that was the bonding glue which held them together.
Maggie was six months younger than Lizzy and very attached to her Mother. Lizzy, on the other hand, was more than six months older than Lizzy, in her own mind, that is, and was not very emotionally attached to her Mother, nor anyone else for that matter. She was more like an island unto herself and she preferred it that way. While she loved her parents dearly, she didn’t need to be coddled. Her emotional feelings were just that—hers, and nobody’s business; however, she was observant of others emotions and was sympathetic to their “pain”. It was no wonder she became a psychiatrist. She was very self-confident and driven from a very young age and would grow into a take-charge adult. Being an only child, she learned early on, to be self-reliant and actually preferred her own company to many of her less mature, but same-aged friends. She had no reservations speaking her mind freely and enjoyed interacting with all ages, including adults. She had very loving and devoted parents, fashionable clothes, a beautiful home and basically anything she wanted. However, she was not spoiled in any way and her parents expected much from her reminding her daily that: “To whom much is given, much is expected”. They were devoted to their faiths and raised Lizzy in the loving arms of their church.
Maggie was the sixth child of nine children and did not have a new dress of her very own, until she was eight years old, and until then, she wore the hand-me-downs of her three older sisters. She was sympathetic, obedient, playful, loved to laugh and was emotionally dependent on her devoted mother. Being the sixth child of nine children, she was very comfortable sharing her feelings with any of them, as she was extremely close to all her them, who also, were dependent on the love of their mother. She and her siblings attended church every Sunday with their mother and aunt, but not their father, who was an alcoholic and didn’t attend church but once in a blue moon. Needless to say, Maggie was not a spoiled child either; she didn’t know the meaning of the word.
These two little girls, opposites in so many ways, grew up sharing their very uniquely different lives, as a result of their two loving mothers’ dedication to the nurturing of this sweet friendship, which was borne on that giant fun-filled playground! As the years would pass and as Life would have it, this incredible friendship would experience heaven and endure hell.
Over the years, Maggie and Lizzy would be faced with many challenges. They would learn to take care of each other in ways that no one else could. They would build a bond like no other, which would last a life time, and this bond would not only change their lives, but the lives of so many, in miraculous ways!
In the end, Maggie would find herself on Dr. Lizabeath Benis’s couch, and as Maggie would often say to you, the reader, “Somebody help me!”
God is Good. God is Great!!
Love yourself and do good things…