Photo courtesy of Anne Worth

After a 40-year career spent counseling adults, Lake Highlands resident Dr. Anne Worth made a life shift partly jolted by the pandemic.

At 80, she’s already published two children’s books since the pandemic with a third on the way. After retiring from counseling and moving to the community at the Landon, she has been writing consistently.

She rises early every morning just to write.

“Every morning, at 4 a.m., I woke up to sit in front of my computer.”

Her book series, Tessie’s Tears, follows a young girl, Tessie, as she experiences and learns about death, grief and other forms of loss. The first two installments in the series are Grampy goes to Heaven and Molly Moves Away.

However, Worth’s foray into children’s books was the result of faith, sympathizing with children who had lost loved ones to COVID and some of her own life events.

“During the pandemic, every child in the world, not just in the United States, was exposed to death. if it wasn’t somebody in their family, it was somebody in their neighborhood or one of their friends or whatever,” Worth says. “I wanted children to know that whoever dies, they’re healthy, they have a new body, they’re in a wonderful place.”

Each of the books have references to the Bible and address grief and loss from that perspective. A couple in the Philippines illustrated the book for her. They held their meetings on character design over Zoom.

“I sent him a picture of me as a young girl and the other little girls would be based on my girls,” she says. “So, we sketched a couple of different classes and sketched it right in front of me.”

Since publishing the first two books, she has donated books to schools and churches.

Though she has no biological children, Worth claims many as her own, including Sudanese girls she’s met since working with the Lost Girls of Sudan and a Russian son (she met him during a mission trip when he was in an orphanage). They all call her ‘Mama Anne.’

This isn’t her first time writing a book, as she’s co-authored six works with other authors and wrote a memoir in 2019 titled Call Me Worthy. It took her nine months of agony to write, she says.

In the memoir, she addresses difficulties, including divorce, abortion, alcohol and her family.

“That’s one reason I think I was such a good therapist, because I have been through all that stuff myself.”

The third book in the Tessie’s Tears series, Corkie the Rescue Puppy is about Tessie losing her puppy. It will be released in October.