Dear Ashley: A Father's Reflections and Letters to His Daughter on Life, Love and Hope

Dear Ashley: A Father's Reflections and Letters to His Daughter on Life, Love and Hope


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Dear Ashley: A Father's Reflections and Letters to His Daughter on Life, Love and Hope by Don Blackwell, Michael E. Berrett

Events wholly beyond our control can sometimes abruptly and profoundly interrupt our life journeys and the journeys of those we love. As they are unfolding, the physical and emotional trauma that often accompany such events present seemingly insurmountable obstacles to our ability to move forward. We become stuck, paralyzed by fear and uncertainty. Several years ago, one of those events drove Don Blackwell's daughter to death's doorstep. In the midst of her suffering, however, and largely as a result of her courage, Don came to realize that such events can also serve as critical points of reflection and opportunities for growth. He also realized that if we are willing to take a step back from the heartbreak of the moment and reflect on the matters of the heart that surround those events, they can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves, of those we love and of the human condition. "Dear Ashley" is a collection of those reflections and the intimate father/daughter letters used to convey them—-shared in the hope that the unique perspective they offer will provide guidance, understanding and healing when life's challenges come knocking on your door.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781614483298
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication date: 01/01/2013
Pages: 190
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.42(d)

About the Author

For the past 28 years, Don Blackwell has been a trial attorney in South Florida. Most importantly, for 24 of those years he has been the “dad” of a remarkable young woman, whose courage in the face of great adversity has taught him a number of invaluable lessons about life, love and hope. As a writer, Don has authored two children's books, The Bunt and Rounding Third, and several peer-reviewed feature articles that have been published in the Florida Bar Journal, Florida’s leading legal publication.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xiii

Acknowledgements xvii

A Graduation Note xix

Introduction xxiii

The Hurt

Chapter 1 On Loneliness and Intimacy: ("Dealing with it just like all the other kids"-or not) 3

Chapter 2 Daddy's Little Girl: (Walking unsuspectingly in our fathers footsteps) 9

Chapter 3 Brittany: (Living in an "if you ain't first, you're last" world) 16

Chapter 4 The Girl at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (Turning a deaf ear to the sometimes silent, sometimes not-so-silent tears of those we love) 21

Chapter 5 The Gift of Imperfection: (Maybe being perfect isn't all it's cracked up to be) 25

Chapter 6 Dr. Mac: (The value of trust) 31

The Fear

Chapter 7 Timothy: (The paralyzing power of fear-An overview) 39

Chapter 8 Travis: (The fear of failure) 46

Chapter 9 Junnuh: (The fear that a healthier, happier you is a distant and irretrievable memory) 54

Chapter 10 Brock: (The fear that we can't, before we've even tried) 61

Chapter 11 Courtney: (The power of our gifts and the corresponding fears of success and of disappointing others) 69

Chapter 12 The First Step: (The fear of venturing out) 75

The Healing

Chapter 13 "Mr. Fix-It": (Losing the control we never really had) 83

Chapter 14 The Girl on the Park Bench: (The freedom that comes from realizing that we may not have all the answers) 89

Chapter 15 The Miners: (Contrary to popular belief, hope is not a light that awaits our arrival at the end of the proverbial tunnel) 93

Chapter 16 The Monarch: ("Just when the caterpillar thought its life was over"-A case study in patience) 98

Chapter 17 A Young Mother and Her Two Little Boys: (And other everyday acts of courage) 105

Chapter 18 Derek and Jim: (Finding joy and wonder in the uncertainty of the journey) 112

Chapter 19 The Gorilla®: (Embracing the sometimes jagged often ill-fitting pieces of the puzzles of our lives) 121

Chapter 20 Chuck: (Giving is living) 128

Chapter 21 The TPD: (Taking a closer look at the "Total Package Dad") 137

Epilogue 145

The End 149

Appendix 151

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Dear Ashley: A Father's Reflections and Letters to His Daughter on Life, Love and Hope 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ReynoldsHafner More than 1 year ago
"Dear Ashley" is a beautiful book which is both heartrendingly tragic and joyfully inspiring. It is emotionally powerful without ever being sentimental. It is a brilliant juxtaposition of hope and hopelessness, trust and doubt, faith and despair, courage and fear, and, ultimately: love. It is more than an extraordinary soul-baring work courageously told by a father as he struggles to help his daughter battle anorexia nervosa; it is also an intense, intelligent and inspiring examination of parenting.