Out of our experience we have come to the
conclusion that mental health or
illness permeates the entirety of our lives.
Mental health is the mosaic of life, the
tapestry that adds color to experience,
and the thread which holds together life's
However this is not a classic scholarly
discourse, well documented by
mental illness/health studies, but one well
supported by a lifetime of
freelance study and personal experience. It
is an effort to share in one
family's and one patient's pain and triumph.
It is a perception of things as we
saw them and nothing more. Although it is
anecdotal, it is not irrelevant. It
hasn't been to us! Hopefully, you will say
one of two things: "There by the
grace of God go I" or "I know exactly what
you are talking about; my family
has been there." It is hoped that we will
remember the Arab proverb,
"Examine what is said, not him who
| L A Y I N G O F F A L A N D, the story plot
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER ONE LAYING OFF A LAND
COPYRIGHT 2004, Rev 2005, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Laying off a land set the stage for plowing the field and eventually a harvest. "Effort
and courage are not enough without purpose and direction," said John F. Kennedy.3
Laying off a land gave direction for the farmer, and for us it gives purpose for the
The field of mental health has been "plowed" many times and on this occasion with a
different perspective and from a different experience.
From our vantage point we have come to view mental health issues as arising out of,
and dependent upon, our total life experience.
Everything we do, say, and are, affects our capacity to cope with life and to
have some semblance of being mentally healthy.
In reviewing my Dad's life and times, we will from time to time show how
various everyday happenings influence us for good or ill.