The co-founder of a local nonprofit is now a published author.
Middlebury resident Sandy Weatherwax wrote a book called Dancing in the Wind, in which she shares how her family took a personal loss and turned it into a gain for many others by founding LoveWay.
LoveWay Therapeutic Equestrian Services helps those with special needs gain improved physical, mental, emotional and social abilities.
Weatherwax will sign copies of her book at LoveWay on Thursday, May 22, from 4 to 7 p.m. Recently, Weatherwax took time to answer some questions about the book:
Question: What is the book about?
Weatherwax: It’s about my husband’s and my life from the day he became a paraplegic in a car accident and the trip God took us on, our journey.
After Gary’s injury, our daughter, Laurie, visited the Cheff Center, a therapeutic horse riding center in Augusta, Mich., on a school field trip, and she came back very excited. She wanted to establish a riding center here. This is what she wanted to do for her life.
Then she went to Africa on a foreign study trip, and we think that’s where she contracted the virus that took her life at age 17.
We decided to do something in Laurie’s memory, to fulfill her dream. We started LoveWay. I want to say that we were the starter switch for LoveWay, but the staff and volunteers have made it what it is today. All of the students here inspire me, what they do when you didn’t think they would or could.
But the book is also about my husband, Gary. He never stopped. He went on to do wood carving after his accident and to have adventures. He even had a pet cougar. He never said, 'Poor me.’ He said, 'I would like to walk again more than anything in the world, but I wouldn’t want to walk and be the man I was before this happened.’ It changed him. It really did. He grew through that. We both did.
Q: What was your inspiration for writing the book?
Weatherwax: You’ve got to give people what helped you in your life. It’s not a sorry-for-me-book. It’s about God and what he did for us, what he gave us. The Lord is good. He’s given me so much good.
Q: What are you hoping readers will gain from the book?
Weatherwax: Encouragement. I want people to know that they can go through a lot and still have a life. We went through the loss of my husband’s abilities, and it’s hard to lose your only child. But you can still have a life and it’s still good. We had a wild life after Gary’s accident. There’s a lot of hilarity in this book. It’s a fast moving book, a quick read.
Q: How can people get a copy of the book?
Answer: The book’s official release date is July 1, but the publisher gave me some to sell now, so we are having the book signing at LoveWay. They cost $15.99, and the sale of the books at the book signing will benefit LoveWay. New Life Music, Book and Electronics on Warren Street in Middlebury has the books also. They are also available through Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC.
LoveWay is at 54151 C.R. 33 in Middlebury. For more information, call LoveWay at 825-5666.