In the spring of 2020, the paranoia-inflated COVID-19 rush was alien and frustrating,” said author Cheryl Petersen from upstate New York. “So, I researched the history for clues on how to practice recovery of mind, body, and spirit.”
Petersen is not a religious person in a ritualistic sense, but has faith in renewal as the source of an unconquered reality, call it life, God.
The dialogue in The Second Husband conveys vibrant, nostalgic, flawed personalities who struggle for transparency. “Transparency that lets the light of recovery shine through,” Petersen said.
The main character, Daniel Patterson, was the second husband of Mary Baker Eddy, an advocate for Christ-echoing spirituality. Together, Daniel and Mary faced the terrible American Civil War (1861-1865).
In the spring of 1862, the Pattersons had been together for ten years. Daniel traveled to Washington D.C. to support the Union but was captured by Confederate commander John Mosby and was incarcerated as a civilian prisoner.
Learning of her husband’s imprisonment, Mary became concerned.
Petersen explained: “Mary was sensitive to spinal problems and before Daniel left for the South he encouraged her to employ Dr Phineas Quimby, a mental healer, for healing. She went to Quimby after learning of Daniel’s escape, in the fall of 1962, and received physical and mental relief.
Daniel escaped from prison with a piece of bread and the clothes on his back. Haunted by the fear of being recaptured and starving to death, he marched at night, for seven weeks, 400 miles to Union territory where General Robert Milroy put him on a train home .
Reunited, Daniel and Mary moved to Lynn, Massachusetts in 1863, where he resumed his dental practice to support Mary as she traveled to stay in Maine for long periods to receive mental treatments from Quimby and experience the relationship between spirit and healing. .
Mary’s absences continued until Quimby’s death in 1966, arguably straining the Pattersons’ marital relationship. Then in 1967, Daniel, along with other successful dentists, was sued for patent charges on rubber dentures by Josiah Bacon, a man who turned out to be fraudulent and was later shot by another dentist.
Petersen said: “Trauma, drama and stress were viewed as opportunities rather than defeats. Daniel and Mary stopped floating with the change and used the change to manifest revitalization.
Daniel moved to a quiet town in northern New Hampshire and continued to help people with dental care. Mary remained in Lynn, divorced Daniel in 1973, and he paid child support while she wrote the book, Science and Health, calling the construction of her ideas, Christian Science.
“Christian Science, as I understand it, is the working knowledge of God’s law interpreting recoverability,” Petersen said.
Mary taught knowledge to students and helped thousands of others find mental and physical health. She married Asa Eddy in 1877. He died five years later.
Mary Baker Eddy became well published, writing in the article, Christian Science Healing, “Rather than argue about vaccination, I recommend, if required by law, that an individual undergo this process.”
In 1895, an interview with Daniel Patterson was published in The weekly norm, in Saco, Maine, his place of birth and death, to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the Civil War. The newspaper article is reprinted in The Second Husband.
Petersen said: “Daniel’s candor, strength, intelligence and humor are transparent and give me hope that thirty years from now I can take the pandemic from frustration to healing.”
The Second Husband: A historical fiction, by Cheryl Petersen, is available in print and as an e-book. The audiobook will be released in June. Petersen is also the author of 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: A modern version of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health.
The science of healing today
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.