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From the book jacket: Blind since birth, author and well-known entertainer Tom Sullivan recounts with wicked wit and captivating clarity the hair-raising adventures of his eleventh year in 1950s New England... escaping from his blind school, reliefpitcher in the neighborhood league, and boxing in a backyard bout with the neighborhood bully Adventures in Darkness is a classic tale of boyhood adventure through a formative season, a summer of hilarity and heart, tears and triumph! armed with a daring dream, and the fearlessness and mischief of youth. Tom refused to settle for the conventional confines of his blindness, and set in motion a chain of events that dynamically changed his life forever.
Psychiatrist Dr. Brenden McCarthy determines he'll do whatever it takes to rescue a young marine from despair. But ultimately it's McCarthy's big-hearted and courageous black Labrador, Nelson, who teaches both men the real meaning of life after near-death.
Bestselling author Tom Sullivan explores life without sight and finds it rich and rewarding. In fact, he's gleaned a number of gifts from his "affliction," including: * I've never assessed my relationship with people according to the limits of labels or assumption. * I've enjoyed a world of senses available to all of us but almost never explored by the majority of those with sight. * I've made challenge my road to limitless opportunity. * I've cultivated a clear sense of my own purpose. * I've learned to be passionate, celebrating my own uniqueness through the expression of that passion. * I've found a powerful faith that has become my foundation for living. * I've learned to love unconditionally through the interdependent relationship I share with my wife, Patty, and my children. Through insightful stories and emotive writing, Tom describes a life of fullness, not lack, as he's made blindness a positive. For Tom Sullivan--author, actor, athlete, singer, entertainer, and producer--a life with blindness has been a life with very few true limits. In this elegant exploration of the senses, he considers the different challenges he's faced and explains the wonder he carries because, not in spite, of his blindness. *** . . . I realize that my way of looking at the world is unique and, yes, special. I'm sure that in God's essential plan I was chosen to be blind, and after many years of struggle I've come to terms with that remarkable truth. Along my journey I have learned much that I hope to pass on to you, but for now here's what I want you to understand: blindness is the best thing that has ever happened to Tom Sullivan. Would I like to be able to see? Certainly; to see the beauty of nature in all of its forms, the faces of the people I love, and the myriad colors of a sunset. I'd love to play center field for the Red Sox or catch a touchdown pass from Tom Brady and the Patriots. But I have not only become content with my lot, I now celebrate my own uniqueness with closed eyes but a completely open soul. The joy in writing this book is in my knowing that even though I quite likely will never see as you do, I might just be able to change your perceptions and broaden the possibilities for your own appreciation for the grace God has provided us with and the life we're so blessed to live. So, take a look--as I see it--inside out, rather than outside in. --Tom Sullivan, from the Prologue
Portrayal of the life of blind musician Tom Sullivan.
Emmy award-winning actress Betty White may be a hit on the popular sitcom The Golden Girls; Tom Sullivan, bestselling author of If You Could See What I Hear may have made his mark as a multitalented performer, songwriter, and lecturer-but the real star of this heartwarming story is an extraordinary dog named Dinah. For nine years this beautiful golden retriever was Tom's best friend, his right arm-and his eyes. A world-class guide dog trained by the Leader Dog Foundation for the Blind, Dinah gave Tom, a man who has been blind since birth, his first real taste of independence. And she gave the entire Sullivan family-wife Patty, daughter Blythe, and son Tom, Jr.-unfaltering loyalty and love. Together, Tom and Dinah traveled this entire country countless times, and she led him safely through crowded airport terminals, city traffic, strange hotels, and onstage performances. But when Dinah reached the age of eleven, she began to lose her edge. Her eyes were no longer as sharp, her step not as sure. The once-assured guide dog became defensive and hesitant. Although Tom hated the idea of working with any dog but Dinah, it seemed to be his only choice, and Nelson, a black Labrador retriever, joined the family. Dinah, however, was not ready to settle back into a life of leisure in the Sullivan household while an interloper took over her job and her master. She stopped eating, began hiding away, and simply gave up on life. Yet Dinah's story has a whole new beginning.. .and her name is Betty White. In The Leading Lady, Tom and Betty, close friends for years who have become more like family thanks to their special golden girl, take turns talking about Dinah. Here is how the super canine came into Tom's life; the hard work and frustration man and dog endured to become a team; and the adventures--some traumatic, some joyful--that cemented the bond between them. Here, too, is how Betty rescued this gallant lady in distress and how caring, courageous Dinah became a full-fledged member of Betty's family overnight, with a brand-new job to do. Most of all, here is the essence of Dinah, a dog who made a positive difference in every life she touched.
Brian O'Connor is a successful lawyer, loving husband, and devoted father. He also happens to be blind. Driven his entire life to be independent, Brian has achieved much, but he has been so busy proving his triumph over blindness that he hasn't stopped to consider how his carefully crafted life can all come crashing down in an instant. When his young son is diagnosed with cancer, the long ensuing battle brings Brian to his knees as he comes to terms with his own limitations and his need for faith.
From the book "If this dog loves me enough to lay down his life for my survival, how can I just give up?" One misstep on a mountain climbing trip plunged Brenden McCarthy into darkness by stealing his sight and everything else he held dear. But a too-independent guide dog named Nelson just might lead him back to life . . . if they don't kick him out of guide dog school first. Brenden can't accept the fact that he's lost his sight. And Nelson can't accept that he's been paired with someone other than his former master. Just as Brenden starts to live again, a devastating setback causes him to try to end it all. Brenden releases Nelson and sits down in the middle of an intersection. At that moment, everything changes when Nelson freely decides he'd rather join Brenden in death than live without him. Now they need a leap of faith and a love beyond words to make it.
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