Something To Prove: A Daughter’s Journey to Fulfill A Father’s Legacy browsing by tag


Gone almost 30 years… always in my thoughts

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Maybe it’s the holiday season that just naturally brings back memories of those we love. Or maybe it’s because my father, Donald Thornton, is never far from my mind. But even something as seemingly innocuous as doing some upgrades in our home stirred vivid memories of Daddy, who readers will remember from my memoirs, The Ditchdigger’s Daughters, and Something to Prove.

My husband Shearwood and I were talking to our security firm about improving our home security system. And it brought me back to the day that my father and mother accompanied me to Bard Hall, where I was to room, when I first entered Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

I would be living away from home for the first time, and in big, bad New York City, no less. My parents had already helped me settle in and, reluctantly left me in my new room. I assumed they were on their way home. Then Daddy came back to the room, carrying a heavy glass ashtray. After giving me yet another talk about how important it was for a young woman to be careful and vigilant, he handed me the ashtray, which was odd, because I didn’t smoke.

The ashtray was for security purposes, he said. He instructed me to place it above my door, so if any one tried to come in, it would fall and alert me and I could defend myself—or just run.

I thanked him, and promised I’d be careful, but I never did use his makeshift security system. I knew perfectly well that the first time I rushed out the door, I’d be the one to get bonked on the head.

But, just knowing that my Daddy would always look out for me (and yes, I believe he still does, though he’s been gone since 1983), made me feel safer.

And I still have that ashtray.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH

Something To Prove Wins Top Prize from New York Book Festival!

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

I’m thrilled to report that Something to Prove: A Daughter’s Journey to Fulfill a Father’s Legacy earned the Grand Prize from the judges in “The New York Book Festival,” besting hundreds of rivals in every category for the title.

Although I wish I could be at the ceremony on June 10, 2011, at the Algonquin Hotel, to accept the award, I have a previous commitment. I will be the lead panelist at the “100 Black Men of America Annual Convention,” in San Francisco that day.

My fellow panelists include Terri McMillan, bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and several other books, radio talk show host Shirley Strawberry, and TV personality Star Jones, best-known for her long-running stint on the popular talk show, “The View.”

Although I won’t be there to accept the New York Book Festival Award in person, you can bet I’ll be there in spirit. I am so honored to have been chosen to receive this recognition, and so very, very grateful to the judges who chose Something to Prove over so many other terrific books.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH

Book Signings, Media Appearances, and Reviews, Oh My!

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Something To Prove: A Daughter’s Journey to Fulfill a Father’s Legacy has been getting tons of attention lately. I’m exhausted from running here and there for signings, speeches. and appearances, but happy to do it, if it means more people get to hear the story.

As you can see here, I’ve been signing books like crazy, and more events are coming up.

One of my favorite reviews to date appeared in Library Journal. Read it here.

And one of my favorite articles appeared in Paramus Patch, after a book-signing at the local Barnes & Noble. You can find it here, but I thought I’d quote from it, just to give you a taste:

Warm and funny, Thornton captivated the audience of more than 50, many of whom were patients and colleagues.  Married for more than 35 years to an orthopedic surgeon, Thornton had a confession.

“When I became a doctor, I thought I caught the brass ring, that there was nothing left to prove, but I was wrong,” she said. “Even when I got there, I found there was another mountain to climb.”

In that large, enthusiastic audience, I not only re-connected with old friends, but made several new ones and saw (with my own eyes) a young woman of 27 years, Sara, who I delivered in 1983.  Her mother accompanied her and recounted all the drama surrounding her daughter’s birth.  Ah, I remember it well!  Where has all the time gone?  I’m so grateful to all those who have embraced Something To Prove, and can’t wait to meet more of you in person.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH

Happy Holidays to All – With a Few Tips to Keep the Season Merry

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

You probably already have a hectic life that just got that much more hectic with the added responsibilities of the holidays. We women often feel pressure to do it all, and to make the holiday special for everyone else. But sometimes, we forget ourselves in the process. So, I thought I’d offer a few tips to plan a holiday that you can enjoy as much as your family and guests.

1. DON’T SHOP UNTIL YOU DROP: I know that budgets are tight for many, many people this year. So, resist the urge to splurge. Even if money isn’t an issue, time is. Don’t try to buy everything at once. Shop in the way that makes the most sense for you, whether that means strolling the mall or surfing the web.

2. LEAVE THE HAUTE CUISINE TO THE FOOD NETWORK GROUPIES: Having company over? Prepare what you can a day or two before, and keep it simple. Forget Mastering the Art of French Cooking this season. Your guests are there to see you, not the Iron Chef champion, so set things up in a way that lets you enjoy the celebration, too.

3: COUNTER THE CALL OF THE BUFFET TABLE: No matter how hard we try to stick to our eating plans, the holidays make it difficult. Fill up your plate with veggies and salad, and leave just a small space for the too-good-to-resist high calorie treats. Balance the inevitable extra calories with an extra walk around the neighborhood after meals. You’ll feel better, and you won’t have to hide the bathroom scale.

4: MAKE YOUR OWN SEASON MERRY AND BRIGHT: Be good to yourself this season. Check the local listings for gatherings that might be fun, or for church choir concerts. Go to a holiday movie. Re-connect on the phone or online with friends and family who have moved away. One of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself is to help those less fortunate. Donate to a food pantry. Visit a senior citizens home. Offer to take a shelter dog for a walk.

I know how tough it is for women to follow this simple advice (hey, I’m a woman, too), but I also know we’ll feel better if we do. So, I’ll try if you will.

Meanwhile, please stop by if you’re in the New York tri-state area for my book launch party at Barnes & Noble in West Nyack this evening for my new memoir, Something To Prove: A Daughter’s Journey to Fulfill A Father’s Legacy. Details are here.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH