As I write in the opening of Flourish: People with Disabilities Living Life with Passion, the book began as a way to think about what a good life looks like for our son. So, in the beginning, it was all a selfish persuit. But when the thing comes together, your fondest wish is that it will strike a chord in someone else (well, your fondest wish is that people with buy it and then it will strike a chord…) It seems to be doing that for people who have written to me after reading it, which is wonderful. This from parent, writer and steadfast advocate Nicola Schaefer in Winnipeg:
“I need to tell you that Flourish is absolutely first rate, from the opening one-line paragraph of your Preface right through to the last line of Earl’s story. Sir Ken Robinson’s description of the blossoming in the Mojave Desert (which was such a clever jump-start for the book!) has had a profound effect on ME. I’ve realized two things: one, that [my daughter] Cath’s life, while fine, needs to be FULLER…of people, in particular, and I’m going to make that happen as soon as possible; and two, my colleagues and I in L’Avenir [the small community agency that supports Cath and others] need to put more effort into welcoming into the community folks who are still languishing (“unwatered”, as it were!) in the big institution here. One of the rhetorical questions that my friend Dave Wetherow frequently posited was, “Are we wasting people’s lives?” and I can’t help but say yes, we’re not doing our best to prevent that. Bless you for creating a most important book, one which I’m sure will have a profound effect on anyone who reads it.”
That’s Jim and me with Nicola recently at her home for a cozy evening.