From the book
From the book
This book has been one of the most exciting projects of my life. It came about at the behest of a lovely young woman named Diane Revzin, 19, who is the daughter of Philip Revzin, senior editor of St. Martin's Press. She has type 1 diabetes.
It seems that one day father and daughter were washing the family car--an enjoyable weekend task Diane thought of as a kind of sporting event the two of them could share. "How's it going?" Diane's Dad asked.
"Oh, you know, okay, I guess," she replied and tossed down her sponge (a most unusual attitude for her), and blurted out, "I wish I had a diabetic best friend, someone to talk to about what it's like to have diabetes. Sometimes I feel, I don't know, alone. Ya know?"
Her father lowered his head and looked at her over the rim of his glasses and answered, "Honey, you're as well informed as anybody, having read most of the books out there."
"But I want to know about someone else's experiences with diabetes. You're right, I've pretty much read the "ABC's of Diabetes" and the "What To Do" books. I want to read someone else's personal experiences, both good and bad, and the emotional gymnastics that go with it all. Is there anybody like that you can think of, Dad?
Dear Phil thought of me! He tells me he set out my diabetes bio for Diane's consideration--"Mary Tyler Moore, she's a diabetic, first and foremost, she's the International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and she makes me laugh. I kind of think that's important. She seems to be deeply involved in the government relations for JDRF including the time she spends in Washington lobbying Congress for increases in federal funding for research."
"I know she can't be my buddy, but maybe she can come up with something."
When Phil called me, I was in the last throes of unpacking an endless array of clothes, beauty products (I keep trying), medications, toiletries, and diabetes lifelines: insulin --- two types, syringes, monitors, test tapes, charts, list of appropriate insulin doses, test strips used to spot the dreaded ketones in urine, glucose tablets, alcohol swabs, Glucagon (emergency kit), lancets, diabetes literature, stacks and stacks of books and letters on the subject, and a box of chocolate-covered raisins.
My husband Robert and I were carrying out the decision we'd made to move out of our apartment in Manhattan to spend full time at our country house in Millbrook, New York. It was a major upheaval, but strong longings for open skies, riding trails, meadows, animals, and the quiet beckoned us.
It was my cell phone. It was there, somewhere, I could hear it screaming at me! I ought to give myself a break and change to nicer, less critical music. But then I might never find it.
Aha! There it was, the phone, buried under some exercise leotards. I plucked the damn thing out of the jumbled mess of (would-be) ballerina togs, grateful for the opportunity to sit, and offered my all purpose, if a bit breathless, "Hello."
"May I speak to Mary Tyler Moore?" a male voice asked. And in a most proper tone (Dad would be proud) I answered, "This is she." It sometimes takes guts to be correct with our language. I now opt for the compromise of "Speaking."
With a smile in his voice, my "gentleman caller" said, "I'm Phil Revzin --- St. Martin's Press. We'd like to talk to you about writing a book concerning your experiences with diabetes. I'll speak to your agent, of course, but before I do that, I'd like to know if the idea is of some interest to you."
And that's how it began.
Author: Mary Tyler Moore
MARY TYLER MOORE is a seven-time Emmy Award--winning actress, Tony Award recipient, Academy Award nominee, as well as a longtime activist and fund-raiser for diabetes research. Her previous autobiography was After All.