Losing a parent is a profound loss at any age. Children especially have trouble realizing that the loss is permanent, and they can’t organize their emotions the way an adult can. When friend Bob Dedrick lost his battle with cancer, Rob Hovey, of Canandaigua, wanted to do something for Dedrick’s family. But he didn’t know what he could offer. He noticed several men who took an interest in Dedrick’s young son Jack – talking, playing, or just giving him a great big bear hug. Witnessing these actions sparked the idea for the self-published, print-on-deman book “Jack’s Five Dads” a heartfelt story about a young boy who misses his Dad. “I woke up in the middle of the night,” said Hovey. “I knew I needed to write this book.”
Transcending loss to highlight the idea of “it takes a village to raise a child,” Hovey wrote the book so he could help the Dedrick family. A portion of each book sold will be donated to the Bob Dedrick Education Fund in support of his children’s education.
The illustrations were created by Hovey’s brother Jack, who’s a professional designer/illustrator in Baltimore, MD. “I think my brother and I grew closer through the process,” said Hovey. “As soon as he read the manuscript, he agreed to illustrate it. I didn’t realize how many iterations and the amount of effort he put into it. People love the illustrations and seem touched by the content.”
Hovey has some lessons for kids and grown-ups; “Think about the people in your life that you can do something special for. Go inward to help someone in need.”
I think that’s pretty good advice any day. You can learn more and read an excerpt of the book, at jacksfivedads.org.
(also published to the Democrat and Chronicle’s Moms blog)