Archives for April 2014

My Father’s Eyes launches!

Sheila Allee and her Uncle Melrose

Sheila Allee and her Uncle Melrose

In My Father’s Eyes, released today, I help you see how anyone, regardless of their limitations, can make a contribution to the world.

I tell the story of how my Uncle Melrose, who had a profound intellectual disability, spent more than 50 years in an institution. He was isolated from his family and the mainstream of life. Yet he had a powerful impact in his 79 years on this planet.

My Uncle Melrose was something of a family secret. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I found out that he existed. No one ever talked about him even though he had grown up with my father and three other siblings in my grandparents’ house.

The truth comes out

When I found out about Uncle Melrose – by accident – I was shocked and horrified. How could my family send one of their own away and seemingly forget about him?

As I got older, he stayed in the back of my mind. I thought about him from time to time and wondered what his life was like. I also became increasingly judgmental and even angry at what had happened to my uncle.

But I later discovered that there was much more to the story of why Uncle Melrose was sent to live at a state school 200 miles from his family. And there was much more to the story of why he had dropped out of our family’s narrative.

Eventually, I located Uncle Melrose and he and I became good friends. I grew to be very fond of him and started acting in the role of his guardian.

Uncle Melrose was a hero

In the process, I thought I was righting a wrong that had been done to him decades before. But what really happened was that my uncle had a powerful and healing impact on me.

I wrote My Father’s Eyes because I wanted to put out the word about what a great guy Uncle Melrose was. The book started out as his biography, but it morphed into a memoir.

It was difficult to tell such a personal story. Sometimes I felt I didn’t have the chops to do it. But it would not let me go, and the result is now available on my Author’s Bookshelf.

[If you would like a signed copy of the book, you can purchase it on the home page of this website.]