Tell us a bit about your family. I have been married for nearly 43 years… and to the same woman! We have three grown children: Sara, who is disabled and the primary motive in writing my book, The Way Life Is. Our son, Andrew, has been living in China for some years now and working with the Disney Company there. He and his wife gave us our first grandchild 16 months ago, and we are thrilled, of course. We have another daughter, Gina, who came up with the title for the book when she was quite young. She was born with a congenital heart defect but is a wonderful, healthy early childhood educator and married to a great young man, Ryan.
What is your favourite quality about yourself? My favourite quality about myself is that I am very compassionate, and passionate about things. It’s what has kept me as involved as I have been in some pretty taxing and traumatic experiences throughout my life. At the same time, my compassion, particularly for my children, and especially for Sara because she is so constantly in need of support and understanding, also causes me almost constant anxiety, yet I can’t help it.
What is your favourite quote, by whom, and why? My favourite quote is from Harold S. Kushner, the guy who wrote Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. He was talking about Moses and said this:
“Moses was wise enough to know that people will often disappoint you, that they will be weak and unreliable, that they will forget to thank you, but you must love them anyway.
“You must do the right thing, not for the applause or the reward, but because it is the right thing to do…
“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.”
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? I am extremely proud of the fact that all three of my children are wonderful, loving and respectful human beings. I like to think I had something to do with that, though as they’ve grown and matured, I know it is more them than their parents. I feel like I glow with pride just being in the same room with my kids and that is what makes all the sacrifice and hardship we have all endured worthwhile.
What is your favourite color? I like them all…
What is your favourite food? I like a lot of different foods but what I love is to savour it, share it, and make an experience of it with loved ones.
What’s your favourite place in the entire world? In a hug, especially my wife’s. Geographically, I really enjoyed southern Japan when I lived there for a few months, but I think my home in Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba, Canada, is my favourite place to be.
Being in love and full of anticipation of a great life does not shield young couples from unfair and unexpected challenges and trauma. This book is a true story about a couple that continued to put one foot in front of the other when they would rather have given up; it’s about love and faith and standing fast against adversity.
The Way Life Is takes readers into the home of a young couple trying to accommodate their own needs, desires and demons while coping with the special needs of their children: Sara, born with a rare and life threatening disability known as Prader-Willi Syndrome; Gina, who arrived needing open-heart surgery in order to survive; and Andrew, an active and exceptionally healthy little boy stuck in the middle.
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Genre – Self-Help / Mental Health
Rating – PG
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