It’s crazy how a moment in time can change the course of an entire family.
Them Before Me is the story of a child innocently born into a family living in emotional chaos. Nancy’s parents lived in the shadow of historical trauma from immigration, family deaths, abuse, and divorce, and were unable to deliver the parental structure and dependable love this child so desperately needed. Events beyond all their control, together they were led down a path of intergenerational loss, grief, and pain.
From a very young age, Nancy, bewildered and concerned, and with the monumental challenge to live a normal childhood, somehow still managed to see her world as a glass-half-full. As her heart expanded, she found her way to a place of genuine compassion and forgiveness, which led her to live out of earnest gratitude and unfeigned love. Nancy turned hardship into opportunity, until she found herself living a self-fulfilled life of meaning and joy, one that she lives today.
As Nancy put her personal puzzle pieces together, although often painful and heartbreaking, but totally worth the journey, telling her story of Them Before Me was a gift. Not just for herself, but for those who need the permission and tools to find their own paths of healing their hearts and souls.
Nancy Zimmerman Pechner, M.S., Counseling Psychology, always needing to keep it fresh, is somewhat of a Renaissance woman. Her careers have been many. She is a professional mother, artist, community lay-leader and Founder of the Jewish Community High School of the Bay, curriculum developer, teacher – using art as a vehicle towards self-awareness, facilitator, counselor, officiant, massage therapist, and now, author. Holding space for growth and change is the common thread that runs through her lifetime of personal research on the human condition, and putting what she has observed into action for the greater good. Nancy lives in Maui, Hawaii, and is married to her husband of 33 years. They have three adult children.
Vivien Braly has a lifetime love of reading and sharing stories. She works as the Director of PJ Library Bay Area, a family engagement and book program of the San Francisco based Jewish Community Federation. She has developed longstanding partnerships with Bay Area Jewish organizations and has fourteen years of experience in relationship building and programming around Jewish stories for families. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Shalom Bayit, the Bay Area’s center for domestic violence prevention and healthy relationships education in Berkeley. She has lived with her family in Marin County for 27 years.
Nancy will be donating all proceeds from the book to the following charities and kindly asks that you consider contributing to them as well:
Click the links below to donate:
Nā Keiki O Emalia - Helping Children Heal
Providing support for grieving children, teens and their families.
Nancy Zimmerman Pechner photo courtesy of Richard Pechner.