Lessons learned from loss – “Jack’s Five Dads”


jacks five dads-1Losing 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.

Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends or send me a comment. You can also post a comment on my blog or Facebook.

(also published to the Democrat and Chronicle’s Moms blog)

Lessons learned featured on the moms blog at democrat and chronicle

Friday August 9, 2013

Friday August 9, 2013

I’m blogging about lessons learned on motherhood, love, and life at the moms blog at thedemocratandchronicle.com. I hope you get a chance to check it out soon, whether or not your a mom, since I just published a post you might like to read – Seven lessons learned about riding a bicycle.

Why blog?

For me, blogging is about connecting with and inspiring people – moms or not. Blogging on a moms blog is also about sharing what I know and have experienced with storytelling that might help someone else. I strive to write with sincerity, humor, brevity, and timeliness. I don’t always hit the mark, but I’m willing to fail. Although I don’t believe I’m very controversial, like most moms, I will go to the ends of the earth to keep my children safe (even if one happens to be a dog).

“Character gets you out of bed, commitment moves you to action. Faith, hope, and discipline enable you to follow through to completion.” – Zig Ziglar

The late motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar spread his message of positive attitude, motivation and success through stories punctuated with short quotes that became legendary among his followers. I used to listen to his motivational and goal-setting tapes when I sold Ray-Ban sunglasses to dive huts along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts during my student co-op with RIT. Understanding the nature of goals when facing rejection everyday helped me remain confident and motivated. I learned that I had to have faith in myself because without it, no one would “buy” from me. From this cumulative experience, I also learned that I never wanted to sell stuff over the phone again.

Having faith in my ability to write, hope that the lessons I’ve learned from motherhood, love, and life will resonate with readers of a moms blog, and the discipline to work at my art everyday drive me. What drives you?

Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends or send me an email. You can also post a comment on my blog or Facebook.





School concerts, shiny objects, and grown-ups

DSC_3253 - Version 2What does it say about us grown-ups when we can’t put down our shiny objects in a darkened auditorium as our children perform their carefully rehearsed musical program? How can we ignore a Spring concert created for families of children who attend elementary school by tapping on our smart phones and tablets? Why do we allow the siblings of performers to play games and watch movies while the music plays? Arguably, young kids get antsy and need distractions (and so do grown-ups), but is this the kind of behavior we want to exemplify for our kids?

My humble observation is: Grown-ups who play with their shiny objects and allow their children to play with their expensive toys while the band plays “Kingswood March,” and the orchestra performs “Dragon Slayer,” and the choir sings “Don’t Stop Believin'” simply don’t want to be at their child’s school concert. I believe this type of behavior shows a lack of respect for ourselves and our kids. Moments like these often remind me of a story told by Leo Tolstoy about an emperor who sought the answers to three questions:

  1. What is the best time to do each thing?
  2. Who are the most important people to work with?
  3. What is the most important thing to do at all times?


The wisdom that Tolstoy set forth is that there is only one important time, and that is Now. The most important person is always the person you are with. The most important thing to do is to make the person at your side happy, for that alone is the pursuit of life. Watching my son and his classmates perform was the most important thing for me to do that evening with my husband. It’s that simple, but not always easy.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends or send me a comment. You can also post a comment on my blog or Facebook.