Blog: Here's what Tom says about that!

Our granddaughter’s 1st birthday means even more to this writer

Posted February 10th, 2008 by

Yesterday was February 9. Our granddaughter Ali celebrated her first birthday. I will always remember that day one year ago when Lindi and I were with Jolie, Allen, and Jolie’s best friend Katherine to await the birth.

After I arrived at the hospital, my literary agent, Lauren Abramo, called from New York. She said that Gayatri Patnaik, the editor at Beacon Press who was considering our proposal, wanted to talk with me. It needed to be that day because Gayatri was leaving the next day for two weeks out of the country. I told Lauren I was at the hospital waiting for our grandchild to be born, which definitely caught her by surprise. I told her I’d call Gayatri if I got the chance.

Jolie’s contractions were two minutes apart, but the nurse told me I had plenty of time before the baby would be born. So I called Gayatri. She apologized for interrupting such a special moment. I told her she wasn’t at all. “Today is a magic day. Welcome to the magic.”

We spoke for about 20 minutes. I immediately felt a powerful connection with Gayatri. The conversation went easily; warm and professional. We were clearly on the same wavelength. Of course this first phone call with Beacon Press happened the day Ali was born just a few hours later. Ali’s was the first birth I’ve witnessed in 29 years. I was encouraged by the serendipity of these two wonderful events in my life coinciding on the same day.

Everyone else would call my granddaughter Allison. I was torn between “lucky” and “miracle.”

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