The Anniversary Box

Why I wrote “The Anniversary Box.”

I believe in “connections,” in the importance of them, how hard they are to come by, yet how strongly we desire them. Sometimes we succeed, other times we fail, yet continuously we try.

I trace my passion for the power of connection-making to the American philosopher, Joseph Campbell, who said, “Separation is a temporal manifestation.”

He was talking to Bill Moyers in an interview on PBS Television. Campbell was explaining how the universe is energy. Energy is a powerful single force moving straight forward, all the time, he explained. We as human beings are “separated” from that powerful life force – we have been “individuated.” We exist in our own bodies, with our own individual sets of needs, and others share this same “separateness.”  We are locked into “ourselves.”

No wonder loneliness can be such a scourge!

Yet in our subconscious we are continuously trying to “get back” to the life force that informs the universe, to connect with it – and be “one” with it.

Campbell was saying the same thing I try to say in “The Anniversary Box,” that the search for connection-making becomes our great driver in life. Romantic love is central to that. We’re looking for one person who can be special to us and we to them. Someone who can be our soulmate. Love stories, such as “The Anniversary Box,” chronicle this search, showing how two people strive to take their individuality, their “oneness,” and connect to another “one.” Each looks to embrace the other fully and when they succeed they create a bond with a shared purpose – to move forward in life together.

The husband and wife in “The Anniversary Box” realize that “separateness,” being a “one,” is only temporal, and through the creation of twenty-four messages, which they write together each year on their anniversary to affirm their love and seal away in an “anniversary box,” they create the equation “one plus one equals one.” They put themselves in harmony with the true life-source that informs the universe. They bridge the divide of “separateness.”

Wow. I know.


But that’s why I wrote “The Anniversary Box,” because I believe in the equation “one plus one equals one.” My wife, Barb, a marathon runner, developed non-smoker’s lung cancer out of the blue and fought it for six years with great courage before she passed away in 2013. Often we’d talk about how to stay strong and always we came back to the idea of “connectedness,” that we were “one” and we were in this together. I wanted to write a story that could give readers a compelling tale of love that leads them to the point I’m trying to make about life:

That true love is possible!

I hope you enjoy the story, but most of all I wish you well on your own search for love and I hope you find another “one” to match your “one.”


Other books by Tom Murphy:

Screenshot 2021-06-14 at 5.48.58 PM

Runner in Red – 2018

Encircle Publications
A Boston Marathon mystery novel. A search for the first woman to run a marathon in America.
See for details.
Screenshot 2021-06-14 at 5.49.34 PM

Reclaiming the Sky – 2006

AMACOM/Harper Collins
9/11 and the Untold Story of the Men and Women Who Kept America Flying
See for details.
Screenshot 2021-06-14 at 5.50.02 PM

Just Call Me Jock - 1982

(With John J. Kelley, 1957 Boston Marathon winner)
Waterford Publishing Company The Story of Jock Semple, Boston’s Mr. Marathon