I wanted to share the article I wrote for the Upper Bucks Free Press (the newspaper I write for) for the November issue! The online version was published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE (It’s on page 16).
Local Father Writes a Children’s Book About Daddy and Daughter Adventures!
Glen Dick father living in Chalfont, PA never lets the fact he is in a wheelchair stop him from going on grand adventures with his daughter Elaina. He recently wrote a compelling story about how he and Elaina incorporates his wheelchair in the games they play. In fact, the wheelchair becomes a necessary part of the games.
The picture book Mr. Dick wrote is called “We Can Go Anywhere: My Adventures on Daddy’s Wheelchair” was published this past August by Black Rose Writing Publishers. It is a heartwarming story that shows how the family not only sees past his disability, but also embraces it as part of life. The book’s illustrations by Linda McManus are surreal, which is perfect for a story where imagination is the focus. The story is a retelling of the author’s experiences with his daughter, and all of the things they do together.
I was lucky enough to get an interview with Mr. Dick about why he decided to write this book.
Erik: Can you tell us about what your life was like after your spinal injury, and how it changed when Elaina came into your life?
Glen: After my spinal cord injury in 1995 there were many transitions that I went through. The first was returning home and getting comfortable in my new skin within my old surroundings. Emotionally I had to let go of my old self, hold on to what I had left to offer and concentrate on even on the most minute positive aspects of my life. What got me through was the unconditional love and attention I got from my nieces and nephews who were all very small children at the time. They did not see my limitations and made me realize I still had a lot to offer. I had to adapt to my new limitations and find ways to get back to a sense of normalcy in my life. I returned to work as a landscape architect within the year and also learned to drive a specially equipped van. After some time doing what I used to, I found that my life had taken on new meaning and I wanted to find a way to spend my time doing something more meaningful or giving back. After volunteering at an elementary school I was offered a full-time position as a teaching assistant. I loved working with children since I had none of my own at the time. It wasn’t until 2005 that I got married and my life began to change for the better once again with the hopes of having a child of my own. When Elaina was born four years later I felt I have truly found my purpose. I had always loved encouraging and teaching children and being a child at heart I love spending time with them. Watching Elaina look past my limitations and incorporate them into her life made me forget about my disability and only focus on what we could do together.
Erik: What amazes you the most about the imagination and curiosity of your daughter?
Glen: I think what amazed me most about Elaina was her ability and willingness to incorporate my limitations into her play through her imagination my chair was not something that held us back it was something that added an element to her play. We would make up games that incorporated the chair.
Erik: When did you get the idea to write a book about the adventures that you and Elaina have?
Glen: I got the idea for the Book after realizing the uniqueness of our relationship and how much we could accomplish together as a team. From the time of her birth she all ready had more function in her hands than I and so with me as the brain and her as the hands the two of us became a team. Whether we were playing together or doing a task if we used our imagination there wasn’t much we could not do together.
Erik: Did you write the book more for your family or are you hoping to reach other people who may be in similar situations?
Glen: I wrote the book purely as a keepsake for Elaina. After a rough copy was printed friends and family encouraged me to put it out there believing it had value to help others in my situation. The thought about being able to encourage others with limitations or even just open up a conversation amongst children and their parents motivated me to seek publication.
Erik: What is your favorite thing to do with Elaina?
Glen: My favorite thing to do with Elaina is go for long rides with her on my lap we’ve been doing it since she was a baby and I had to strap her into a carrier on my chest. Now she is at the age where she gets to drive the chair and she loves doing that. I dread the day that she outgrows my lap. I guess I’ll just have to put on the side car at that point.
To learn more about the book, visit BlackRoseWriting.com
For more on books and reading, visit my blog ThisKidReviewsBooks.com
Categories: Newspaper Columns