Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Message From Dan

Dear readers and listeners,

Since my appearances on fresh air and CNN, and since people have been attending my readings and buying the book, I have received over 300 e-mails! Many of my friends (psychologists, of course) ask me how I feel about everything that is happening. I have yet to find a word that begins to come close. Surreal, overwhelming, gratifying, over stimulating, joyous, and exhausting all come close, but don't quite get it. And then I had lunch today with a dear friend who taught me meditation (Michael Baim, who I referred to in my acknowledgments). The restaurant was nearly empty and I had time to rest and reflect. The words I used with him were humble, grateful, deeply spiritual, and most of all -- I feel awe.

The word journey is used way too much in pop psychology and pop spirituality, but it does feel that the journey of my life has brought me to this point. Where to from here? Stay tuned!

I will look forward to hearing from you and you will certainly hear from me also.

With deep gratitude
Dan

9 Comments:

Anonymous Debbie Gottlieb-Ewing said...

Hi All!

Sam had a great day today - he went to the dentist this morning. I felt grat pride as we had a really solid conversation about his fears before the dentist - that he was scared, and why, and what it felt like, and what to do about it. I left for the dentist without pictures unintentionally, and he got through that beautifully.

I asked him how he felt about all of this book excitement and he said "exhausting". So, there it is - right from the mouths of babes!

I called the publisher of Letters to Sam yesterday to order a carton of 20 books. They told me they don't have anymore!!! (This felt like bad news, but it is actually good news).

In light of that, I feel like I need to pass on thanks to all of the people who bought the book - I'm thrilled for Cure Autism Now and the money they will get from the book, and the great works they continue to do.

And I'm thrilled for Pop, to have people listen to him - because he's got some great things to say.

Best,
Debbie
(Sam's Mom)

7:08 AM  
Anonymous debbie gottlieb-ewing said...

Hi once again!
A stellar day for Sam - he got asked for 3 autographs yesterday (which he calls order graphs). He loves signing the book - he gets a really "important" look on his face. And if he doesn't like his signature he crosses it out and starts again. :)
He looked at Pop's signature and wanted to know if Sam should write Pop's name because Pop's "looked like scribble scrabble".
It's a fun time for all of us.

We've been enjoying people's comments about the book, the Fresh Air Interview, and the CNN broadcast. If your friends and family haven't heard/seen those, tell them they are all available here at www.letterstosam.com - they're really easy to access.

Pop will be promoting in Florida - Vero Beach and Boca - if you know anyone in those areas please send them to the readings. His schedule is listed on the home page of this site.
Wishing you a happy and sun-filled weekend-

Best,
Debbie
(Sam's Mom)

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Barry Kales said...

Dear Dr. Gottlieb --

I have just finished listening to your interview with Terry Gross broadcast earlier this week on NPR.

Several times during the discussion I did a double take. Many of the words and feelings you expressed have come out from my mouth as well over the past 27 years.

Our stories are similar and the gifts received are familiar. Without going into a lot of details, I became a C3 quad -- totally paralyzed below the neck -- in January 1980, one month to the day following my marriage. At the time, I was a rising young star in a career of finance and banking. We are the same age and I think come from similar backgrounds -- I'm "a nice Jewish boy" who grew up in Detroit. Although I have never become a formal "therapist", I spend much of my time speaking with people who have come into my life. Truly, many of the insights that you spoke about in your interview have likewise come to me, and I, like you, feel that I would never have taken the time to have experienced the deep insights that have become available to me only through the wonderful world of quadriplegia.

Thanks so much for expressing yourself as clearly. You have written the book already, I don't need to write it again.

Barry Kales
Vancouver B.C.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Debbie Gottlieb-Ewing said...

Hi All!
It was great to see Barry's post - what a "community" there is here.

Sam is well - looking forward to the book signing in Bethesda on 5/15. We're trying to get the word out, though it seems that many people will be going already.

Sam asked about seeing Pop today - they can't wait to see each other. It's been about 2 weeks, and for them it's 2 weeks too long! They're real kindred souls.

We are all going golfing (weather permitting) today. Let's hope he hits 'em hard!

Look forward to seeing you all on Monday. Don't forget to buy the book for mother's day!

Best,
Debbie
(Sam's Mom)

4:38 AM  
Anonymous debbie gottlieb-ewing said...

Hi All!
We're gearing up for Monday's Barnes and Noble Bethesda, MD event here. Making phone calls, sending notes home in back packs at school, and writing e-mails. It's time consuming, and love-consuming. I'm so glad to have this in my life - and in Sam's life.

There are a lot of things in our day to day operations that are tiring, that are frustrating, and that are seemingly without merit. This isn't one of those things.

I love "Letters to Sam" and doing any kind of work on it - it's such a great message and with the proceeds going to charity it feels good to dedicate time to it.

Thanks for buying the book and supporting Sam. He's working on his book, too - it's about an "Egg Monster". We're not sure where it's going, but we'll let you know when it's finished! Maybe we'll post it on this site!
Have a great weekend.

Best,
Debbie
(Sam's Mom)

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Geoff Young said...

I have been listening to all of the "Letters to Sam" stories on WHYY over the past few weeks and can't wait to read the book and give it to my son's grandfathers. My son, Jason, sounds very similar to Sam. He didn't speak in his first years of life and was "labeled" with PDD/apraxia. What he lacks in verbal skills he makes up for in his emotional skills. He has taught me more about unconditional love in his 8 years than I would have learned in my entire life otherwise. Today when I was listening to Dr. Dan on "Here and Now", I felt like he was talking about my son. Thanks so much for sharing your story with the world.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Debbie Gottlieb-Ewing said...

Hi All!
Sam and I are getting ready to head to Atlantic City for the COSAC conference with Pop to sign some books and hang out. We're really looking forward to seeing that ocean and watching the waves. The Atlantic City shore line brings back great memories of my grandfather, grandmother, and my own childhood. I'm glad Sam is able to begin to form some memories there.

Also wonderful will be seeing some extended family, a cousin Howard who is one of Sammy's favorite people. So, it should be a nice time.

I'll put in here my favorite new Sammy saying. He recently asked about my death, and his future relationship with my sister, Ali, his godmother.

Mommy - will you be dead when you're 100?
Yes, Sam, I will.
But Aunt Ali will be my fairy godmother, right?
Yes, Sam, she will.
So she'll poof you back for me, right?

There you have it. The wisdom of Sam. And that's why we dub him "king of the one-liners".

Have a wonderful weekend.

Best,
Debbie
(Sam's Mom)

9:57 AM  
Anonymous debbie gottlieb-ewing said...

Happy 6th Birthday Sam!

Today is Sam's 6th birthday, which he thinks is just serendipitous because 6 is his favorite number. So, he's extra extra thrilled.

He woke up and asked "Can I do everything I want today?" We all got a laugh out of that. We spent the morning together at school doing a project with his class. All is well in his world.

We want to send a "THANK YOU" to Pop for having baloons sent to his classroom. That was so special to him in front of his friends.

There were 12 balloons, and 12 kids in the class, so Sam handed one out to each of them. It was kind, and he was excited.

So, in book news - GET 'EM FOR FATHERS DAY!!! The books sold out last time right before Mothers Day and were difficult to find in the stores, so GET THEM BEFORE THE 2nd PRINTING IS ALSO OUT OF STOCK!!! Your fathers and the fathers in your life will thank you, I promise.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend.
Best,
Debbie
(Sam's Mom)

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Amanda Bach said...

Dear Dan,

We featured your book on our Website & I got a chance to read your book.. I was on my way to Las Vegas for a show & supposed to be happy.. I, instead, got tears in my eyes reading your Letters to Sam... Your letters are so real, so touched & many that I can related to myself... Especially the chapter how you saw your ex-wife... How much it felt better when you hated her... now you realize that you're "missing" her... & it means love... I cried on the plane & people thought I was crazy... THANK YOU so much... I learn so much from your book... & I surely recomended to friends & visitors... Best wishes to Sam...

2:55 PM  

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