||Jan 10, 2012
Two stories of extreme challenges, father and son, that are inspirational and heart-wrenching. Henry, diagnosed with a terminal disease, teaches his father how to be a child - a childhood he missed in a traumatically abusive upbringing.
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Will Corcoran, captivates all readers with his inspiring book as he shares the compelling stories of two young children, both whom experience life-changing events as 3 year old boys. The first, his son Henry, was diagnosed with a rare, terminal illness – mitochondrial disease. Henry lives life every day to the fullest, never taking no for an answer, never complaining, and always seeing the good in things and people – a wise perspective all would be lucky to have. The second, Will himself, survived unspeakable traumatic child abuse as a young boy, and can’t help but think that experience helps him understand and encourage Henry. Two inspirational stories of survival – Will’s literal survival, and Henry’s desire to live life to the fullest – are stories of hope, faith, love, courage, and perspective. Uplifting and inspirational.
That evening, the boy awoke on the floor of his family’s shed. It was hot and humid. And very dark. As he began to sit up, he felt a sharp pain in his back and ribs. His lip burned, as sweat rolled into his open cut. He wiped away the blood and began to paint the shed floor with the bright red. Happy with his work, he smiled, but immediately he grabbed his lip in pain. More blood, or paint, for his purposes.
When he grew tired of this project, he began to look around. But knew that he had to be very quiet. His eyes had adjusted to the darkness. He saw tools scattered around, one of his shoes in the corner, and his father’s belt. He picked the belt up, ran his hands across the smooth leather, and played with the large buckle. It was bright and shiny, and made a clanking noise when the boy moved it back and forth. It wasn’t that scary.
He dropped the belt when he saw what brought him to the shed. In the far corner of the shed lay his stuffed bear that his grandmother had given to him. It was soft and fluffy, and a very light blue. The bear made noise when you pulled its string. The boy loved that bear. Now, the bear was in pieces. It was covered in dirt, and had been rubbed in dog feces. The boy picked up the bear’s head and patted it softly. And, he sat and cried. From where he was sitting, he could see the lights on in the house. He saw his mother pass by the living room window above. He quickly stood up, tapped on the inside of the shed’s window, and called to his mother. “Mommy, mommy.” She heard him. From the house above, she looked out the window into the shed.
When the boy saw her face, he knew right away that he had made a mistake. She looked sad, afraid, and then, nothing. All emotion had completely drained from her face. She walked away from the window, and the boy saw his father rush past her, out the door, and toward the shed.
The boy backed away from the window, sat down in the corner furthest from the shed door, and held his bear’s head tightly. As he heard his father’s keys jingling, the boy remembered how angry his father was that the bear had made such noise, and that the boy loved the stuffed animal so much. He patted the bear’s head, and heard the keys unlock the padlock on the shed door. The boy closed his eyes and was alone with the bear.
As his father slammed open the shed door, the boy’s childhood ended. And, the innocence that he had left evaporated – as quickly as he saw his mother’s face drain of emotion. Tonight would be the last time that he would call for his mother or bring attention to himself. He wouldn’t love anything or anyone for a very long time. Nor would he cry or show emotion.
As his father picked up the belt and it made the clanking sound, he shouted at the boy. Though in the same shed with his father, he could not hear his father. He could not feel the belt. The boy was still alone with his bear.
That was the boy’s first childhood memory. It was the summer after his 3rd birthday. That boy was me.
This Book Will Change Your Perspective, January 29, 2012 By John Chancellor
It is extremely easy to get caught up in our own lives, our own troubles and allow ourselves to focus on the negativity in our lives. It is fairly common to hear people complain about how unfair their lives are. But the vast majority of people simply fail to appreciate how fortunate they are - how blessed their lives are.
If you want a good dose of what real life challenges are, then read Three Candles. Here are two heart wrenching stories which will bring what is truly important in life into clear focus. You will change your perspective on life.
The first story is about the childhood abuse the author suffered at the hands of his physically and mentally abusive father. It is very difficult to understand how any parent could possibly treat a child the way Will's father treated him. But Will not only survived, he has been very successful in his professional career and as an example of an outstanding husband and father.
The second story is equally tragic - Will's second son, Henry, from birth was seriously ill with an incurable disease.
The book alternates chapters between Will's story and Henry's story. The book is fast-paced, you are drawn and eager to learn the outcome. Generally a book like this would take me a week to read. I finished this one in two days. While there is no question that the story of Henry is heartbreaking to read, I found Will's story more disturbing.
The book is well written. This is a fast read, but it is not an easy read. The abuse is so hard to understand. I felt like Will's father needed to be punished for the torture he put his son through. I understand that he was sick, driven by some misguided beliefs. But I still wanted to see justice done.
Henry's story is difficult for any parent to read. I think most parents worry that their child might be born with some rare but incurable disease. Will and his wife certainly seemed to handle this better than most people could hope to.
You will get an inside look at physical and mental abuse in Will's story and you will get a rare look at the challenges dealing with a child with an incurable disease. But for all that, you will be inspired by how Will and Henry deal with life. The lessons learned - the love shared.
I think the biggest lesson to be learned is that too often we fail to live life to the fullest on a day to day basis. We let details get in the way of living. This book will give you a better perspective of what life is all about.
A tough read but two very inspiring stories.
Best Book I've Read in Years by D. Bauxman 2/2/12
Three Candles is the best book I've read in the past couple of years. It is an uplifting account of victorious struggle in the face of heartbreaking adversity. The story of the author's personal experiences of brutal physical and psychological abuse at the hands of a sadistic father and complicit mother, and his journey to become a successful attorney and terrific father is compelling enough, but the additional impact of his son Henry's heroic fight to rise above a debilitating illness makes for an unbelievable tale of love, commitment and bravery.
Will Corcoran has a rare gift for writing that is both fluid and forceful. The pain that he has endured and the joy exuded by his son, Henry, are powerfully communicated. The lessons that he has learned are both practical and invaluable. This book will change your perspective on life. Henry is a Real American Hero.
Incredible and Life Changing, by Brita Long 2/2/12
This book is incredible, heart wrenching, and uplifting at the same time. To be able to look inside your heart and share this with the world is more than admirable, it is beyond words. Anyone that knows or works with kids with challenges, you can see the strength that Henry and his dad bring to this world. I feel honored that there are such insightful little ones like Henry, and his brother, bringing joy, happiness and love into this world.
It was a book that I did not put down until I was finished and was wanting more afterwards.
Thank you Will and Henry for changing my perspective on life and cherishing every minute of it.
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