After a 40-year career spent advising adults, Lake Highlands resident Dr. Anne Worth has turned her life around partly shaken by the pandemic.
At 80, she has already published two children’s books since the pandemic and a third is on the way. After retiring from the council and moving to the Landon community, she writes regularly.
She gets up early every morning just to write.
“I felt called to write it, and it took me nine months of agony to write this book. I tried to write it more like a novel,” she says. “Every morning, at 4am, I got up to sit in front of my computer.”
Her book series, Tessie’s Tears, follows a young girl, Tessie, as she experiences and learns about death, grief, and other forms of loss. The first two episodes of the series are grandpa goes to heaven and Molly walks away.
However, Worth’s foray into children’s books was the result of faith, sympathizing with children who had lost loved ones to COVID and some of her own life events.
“During the pandemic, every child in the world, not just in the United States, has been exposed to death. if it wasn’t someone in their family, it was someone from their neighborhood or a friend of theirs or whatever,” Worth says. “I wanted kids to know that whoever dies, they’re healthy, they have a new body, they’re in a wonderful place.”
Each of the books references the Bible and approaches grief and loss from that perspective. A couple in the Philippines illustrated the book for her. They held their character design meetings over Zoom.
“I sent her a photo of me as a young girl and the other little girls would be based on my girls,” she says. “So we sketched out a few different classes and sketched it right in front of me.”
Since the publication of the first two books, she has donated books to schools and churches.
Although she has no biological children, Worth claims several as her own, including Sudanese girls she has met since working with the Sudan’s Lost Girls and a Russian son (she met him on a mission trip when he was in an orphanage). They all call her “Mama Anne”.
This is not the first time she has written a book, as she has co-authored six books with other authors and wrote a memoir in 2019 titled call me worthy. She had a difficult life, she said.
In the memoir, she addresses hardships including divorce, abortion, alcohol, and her family.
“That’s one of the reasons I think I was such a good therapist, because I went through all of this myself.”
The third book in the Tessie’s Tears series, Corkie the rescue pup talks about Tessie who lost her puppy. It will be released in October.