Once stirred, those memories rolled out in bursts, demanding recording. A description of the neighborhood of her youth emerged: her fathers pharmacy, shops along the avenue, and the house with its magnificent purple irises peeking above a stone wall as tall as a four year old. A small garment is remembered in detail: a dolls dress made from an old pillowcase, using a needle encrusted by baked on grease from the stuffed chicken necks her grandmother prepared; this the woman who braided the authors hair so tightly as surrogate parent while her parents worked to provide for them all in an era emerging from the Great Depression. There was the school she attended when the war began, and the celebrations at its end, and the places she and her friends explored as they grew. Her recollections of the neighborhoods artifacts appear as she envisions pickles and egg creams. Each shop along the 13th Avenue of her memory is sustained in its original character, even the corsetiere and milliner of the past, stuck there in time.
Raised as an only child, Brooklyn had a strong influence on the author’s life. She was a child between eras, growing up before women were viewed for their full potential, in a family who imbued her with a respect for education and a sense of independence she drew upon to strengthen her love for an expanding family: her husband of 54 years, three children, and nine grandchildren. Her career as an occupational therapist, businesswoman and educator drew from these influences. Living on a farm in western NJ, Dr. Breines now takes time to write, having produced several books, chapters and an ongoing column published since 1994. Brooklyn Roots is the first book she has written about herself and her family.
Accompanied by theoretical papers by Dr. Estelle Breines and colleagues previously published in refereed international journals, these stories will aid the reader in understanding principles of active occupation that guide practice and shed light on how these ideas can be applied to the education of therapists.