Excerpt from Chapter Seven,
Kneeling to Dance
Copyright 2004, Rev 2005, All Rights Reserved
During those days we found no perfect solutions,
no short-cuts, no magic sources for our aid. Such
did not exist, and despite appearances today of all
we have going for us, coping is a chore, and there
are times, many times, when we are at our wits end.
These were things we could do, emphasizing here
things to do, action. There will be times in life when
doing is not sufficient and we are left with being.
We are such a culture of action that we are at a
loss to know what to do when action leaves us
Dad's life seemed worthless to most people. In fact,
in some sense to me, also. I have spent a lot of
time and energy attempting to make sense out of
his life. We have wanted to show the reader that
even a person lacking in a contribution to our
work-a-day world can have a reason for being.
There would be no book without my decision to
share this faith that everyone is a segment of the
ages and has his/her place in that great scheme.
And only you, each reader, can decide for yourself
whether my action, by faith, has placed a legitimate
value upon my Dad's life.
|We believe this so strongly that in the beginning of this book, we have dubbed my father Rip Van
Winkle II. While Dad did not regain all his mental faculties, he has now come out of his long
slumber of over forty-seven years in an unexpected way, posthumously. Now he provides us
with the setting by which he can, though us, make a contribution to mental health. This was not
even a dream ten years ago before his death.
This is an example of how we can and must remain open to life's unexpected turns. These
possibilities take on a spiritual meaning, that is, something far beyond us, bringing events of this
nature to fruition. It is when we view the total picture that we get a glimpse of the potential.
We began the story with an overview of his ancestry. Far more than dates and times, we noted
that such a view back in time aids us in our understanding of ourselves.
We looked back, also, at the good times when we were a normal family in rural Sullivan County.
Far more than childhood stories common to so many of us, we wrote about childhood as a
critical stage for mental health.
Far more than reminiscing about school activities, we had the opportunity to see how elementary
and high school can be the place where we develop coping skills with the aid of caring teachers
Far more than just reading lots of medical charts, we saw how the medical community complex
holds the key to healing of the body and mind not by technology alone.
Far more than relating how one single mother made ends meet, we were amazed at my mother's
confidence and strength and noted how her early life prepared her for success.
And now, far more than "preaching" our own brand of the Christian faith, we are attempting to
show how one needs a focus far beyond themselves, one that works by faith for the long haul.
You may not be a follower of the Christian faith; yet we do need to understand our human
limitations and have a view of something beyond ourselves.
Always in this Twentieth Century long story, mental health is the issue—For Pete's
sake and mine and yours today.