Saturday, February 13, 2010
Summer of Anger, Summer of Peace -- Rick Dean
Very interesting book. Author, Rick Dean, grew up in a family of 7 kids. His older brother, Dennis, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and the disease slowly took away the use of his body. Rick was responsible for taking care of Dennis for much of his young life. During the '60s, not much was known about muscular dystrophy, and the prognosis was grim. But Dennis was an incredible boy...and man...who outlived the odds. His story was truly incredible and extremely uplifting.
I found it extra interesting because of our Samantha. The book begins with the fact that Dennis is approaching the days when he needs a wheelchair...and he is NOT happy about this. I was reminded of last year when our physical therapist talked to us about getting a wheelchair for Sammy one day. That was very hard for me. On some level, I felt like a wheelchair signified "giving up" or failure. Logically I understand that's not true...but that's how I felt. I was able to empathize, on some level, with Dennis...with how hurt he felt as they took his wheelchair home for the first time. But it was also wonderful, and extremely encouraging, to read from Rick's point of view -- how much he helped his brother, loved him, and actually enjoyed being Dennis' wing man. I often worry about Callie...if too much will be asked of her if she will be resentful. I've had plenty of opinions given to me about what I need to do so she doesn't feel put-out. And that only makes me worry about her more. This book was encouraging. Even if a sibling may need to help out a lot, they can do so happily, with no hard feelings. I hope that for Callie.
One wouldn't read this book to marvel at the literary techniques or the beautiful imagry. Rather, you would read this book to be inspired, to hear a great story. After reading this, I had the desire to be a better person.
I was able to meet the author this week, and it was an honor. He is a lovely man and I'm so impressed with his compassion and love. I'm glad he wrote this book in order to share his brother's story. May much goodness come from it.