To Soften the Blow, by Lynnie Vessels, read by the author.
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At seven years old, Lynnie Vessels stepped out of the bathtub to discover her father had just shot her mother with a shotgun across their dining room table. Literally standing naked in her mother's blood throughout the ensuing horror, she was magically transported into the loving eyes of her younger sister. Simultaneously, her older sister used words to convince her maniacal father to put down the gun. In those moments, the author came to understand the miraculous power of eye contact and words. Going back into the second grade without counseling, she unknowingly suffered from severe posttraumatic stress. She remained silent about her ordeal until, at age fourteen, a principal turned her life around. From there, she set out on a path to study the undeniable power of using eye contact and words in resolving conflicts. Ironically, this is one of the most uplifting stories you may ever read.