More than 15 million adults and their immediate families in America today must cope with a patient suffering from severe mental illness. In too many cases, these families cannot or do not know how to get help for their loved ones. SANDY’S GIFT WALKING WITH THE LIGHT (Cedar Forge, 2017, softcover) by William P. Dunn IV is an intimate and shocking true story that tells of the tragic plight of Sandra Dunn, a mother and loving wife whose life takes a tragic turn when she suddenly falls victim to severe mental illness; how the healthcare profession and the law prevented her from getting the treatment she needed; how it destroyed her family and nearly got them killed. By sharing his story, Dunn hopes that people will have a better understanding of the ravages of mental illness and know how to cope with them better.
Sandys Gift Walking With The Light
Book Title: Sandy’s Gift: Walking With the Light by William P. Dunn IV
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 316 pages
Genre: Memoir / Spiritual / Psychology
Publisher: Cedar Forge
Release date: February 14, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (This book is rated PG+M because of mature subject / mental illness. No obscenity or sex.)
William P. Dunn IV worked on Wall Street in the U.S. Government bond market where he worked his way up from the back office to the trading desks. After twenty years on Wall Street, he became a financial advisor in northern New Jersey. He continues to work as an investment advisor. He is a graduate of Thiel College where he earned a dual degree in Economics and Business Administration. Today he lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and is a proud grandfather.
My review: 3.5/5
I think that one of the hardest struggles for a family to face is to see their loved one’s mental health deteriorate. This is especially hard on spouses who gradually watch their partner morph into another person and must stand by and watch helplessly. In sharing the story of his own family, William Dunn has allowed us to get a close insight into just how hard that can be.
This is a hard story to write and the author’s seems to struggle a bit to give facts and yet make it personal. However, the style doesn’t take away from the essence of the story.
Dunn shares how they met and married and began a life together, started a young family with two daughters, and then gradually he began to admit to the fact that all was not well with his wife. How he struggled to keep it all together, working, looking after his wife and raising his young daughters, is very moving.
What is heartbreaking is how author had to fight the mental health system, who turned down his request for residential care for Sandy. The court ruled that she should get care at home. However, the home care service did not follow through. That the people who need care are not supported by the system in America, even in these modern times is rather shocking. The book does well to bring attention to the drawbacks in the system, so that action can be taken that more families do not have to face similar difficulties and patients not get the care they deserve.
Today, I want to share a great beauty tip that occurred to me recently.
A Great Beauty Tip
You’re walking down the road just in front of your house, perhaps. Not thinking too much. Just taking in everything around you. And then you begin to find the need to pause – a bright mustard butterfly flapping its wings; leaves attempting to grow in the hollow of a gnarled plant; a woodpecker pecking away at an old tree; tall trees framing a blue sky. And each time you stop and say, ‘Thank you, life is beautiful’. You realize that beauty is all around you.
And you know what? You can’t identify and acknowledge something outside you as being beautiful without acknowledging that YOU are beautiful.
Of course, you could choose to go through life walking down the same road smelling dog poop, grumbling at the stones in your path and generally being upset at how hot it is.
And yes, constantly finding ugliness all around will make for an ugly life.
So what’s the beauty tip then? It’s up to you to acknowledge or deny beauty around you and within you. The more you see beauty around you, the more you will find it within you.
A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. – Roald Dahl
Let’s make time in our hearts and minds today to look for beauty outside and within us.
I’ve always wonder how people live without lighthouses? Do you know your lighthouses?
Now before I go on to explain, let me share with you what is purported to be transcript of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland, one version of which was used by Stephen Covey to talk about what he called ‘the lighthouse principles’:
Americans: “Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.” Canadians: “Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.” Americans: “This is the captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert your course.” Canadians: “No, I say again, you divert your course.” Americans: “This is the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. The second largest ship in the United States Atlantic Fleet. We are accompanies by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course 15 degrees north. That’s one five degrees north, or counter measures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.” Canadians: “This is a lighthouse. It’s your call.”
Let’s think of our deepest values – integrity, commitment, love, faith as lighthouses. They are the beacons that guide our lives. Our decisions are based on our lighthouses.
Do you know your lighthouses?
Thinking about this today, I realized how important it is for people to first of all know what their lighthouses are. In other words, what are the values you live by?
If you realize what they are and live by them then no threat of attack from outside can shake you. You will remain steadfast. What people say about you won’t matter, you know that you are on the right path.
Looking back on my own experience, I realize that every time I tried to go against my own set of values, it resulted in brokenness for me. When I tried to compromise on things, I found it hard to live – life was meaningless. I was constantly lying to others, but mostly to myself. I couldn’t recognize ‘me’. It was only when I came back to being guided by my ‘lighthouses’ that I began to really live again.
I’ve interacted with people who are extremely confused about what their lighthouses were. They are absolutely lost, with no inner security. Any passing wind can take them away. Being that way must be ever so scary.
Are you aware of what your ‘lighthouses’ are? Are you living by your values?
If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch of Living My Imperfect Life and Everyday Gyaan give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.
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“Keep Going. Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.” – Roy T. Bennett. Use this quote in your post or as an inspiration for one.
“Come with me to India! From gypsies to princes, from monkeys to peacocks, I invite you to join me on my latest journey to this fascinating country.”
- Debra Schoenberger
India Book Spotlight and Giveaway
Book Title: INDIA by Debra Schoenberger
Category: Adult Non Fiction, 164 pages
Genre: Photography / Travel / Culture
Release date: January 2017
Format available for review: ebook (PDF & ePUB)
Will send ebooks for review to: International
Tour dates: March 6-24, 2017
Content Rating: G
I have always been fascinated by the sheer beauty and diversity in Indian culture. “Sensory overload in a glance” is an apt description of a country that is always in movement. To be able to stand still in the middle of all that movement allows me to really “see” her people and absorb the flow of life from birth to death.
From learning how to make yellow ink from cow urine to watching funeral pyres burn in Varanasi, I realized that I would have to spend a lifetime here to grasp the immense value of her art, stunning architecture, fascinating food and love of all that is beautiful.
“My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me.
I am a documentary photographer and street photography is my passion. Some of my images have been chosen by National Geographic as editor’s favourites and are on display in the National Geographic museum in Washington, DC. I also have an off-kilter sense of humour so I’m always looking for the unusual.