Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Doctor prescribes friendship for herself


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        Dayton internist Dr. Martha Moody, author of the novel Best Friends (Riverhead Books; $14), is herself a best friend.

        Like the book's characters Sally and Clare, Dr. Moody and college buddy Jill met on the campus of Oberlin College. Unlike the book's characters, they didn't take to each other right away.

        “We didn't like each other at first,” Dr. Moody says. “I was just baffled at her always calling home. She was really close to her family.”

IF YOU GO
   Who: Dr. Martha Moody
   What: Book signing
   When: 7 p.m. Thursday
   Where: Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Norwood.
   Why: Her novel Best Friends is out in paperback.
        Eventually, the roommates became friends and have stayed in touch since their graduation in 1977.

        “We kept up our friendship over the years,” she says, “even though I felt like I kind of lost her for a while” during Jill's marriage, which ended five years ago.

        They have been there for each other through the smallest and largest life passages. Jill was with Martha when she decided to be a doctor instead of going to nursing school. Jill was a bridesmaid at Martha's wedding. Martha helped Jill survive the end of her marriage.

        “We saw each other once or twice a year,” Dr. Moody says. “We've spent more time together since Jill's divorce and are closer than ever. The nicest thing she ever said was, at the end of our college days, "you know me better than anyone.' I thought that was so nice.

        “It's good to have somebody other than family to share your life with,” she says. “We've been through a lot and we've seen each other go through a lot.”

        What advice does the doctor have for friends now being separated by graduations or weddings?

        “Don't sneeze at friendship. Think about friends you have now and the choices they make.”

        And, keep the promise to stay in touch.

       



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