Dream Catcher by Yvonne Mason
A story of triumph, love, persistence, endurance and more
There is no such thing as a child who cannot learn. There is no reason why anyone should be shunned or considered an outcast because he or she is challenged academically or in any other way. But, for a child to succeed he or she needs the support, guidance and love of a family. In this story you will meet a remarkable and unique family who not only proved the unimaginable and the unthinkable about a special young man, but engaged the help and love of friends too. Born with a serious illness, Yvonne Mason’s brother Stan proved beyond a shadow of doubt that he was going to show the world that he is here and that he will definitely succeed.
Not able to speak, not able to walk, and not able to do the things that other kids could do at first, he taught himself how to maneuver and crawl when faced with a challenge before the age of one. Born with 2 clubfeet and faced with wearing heavy plaster casts on his feet, Stan, Yvonne’s brother learned to overcome this and managed to move around. But, that is not all, with the help of his brother Barry, sister Yvonne and lots of friends and cousins he managed to learn to walk, take care of his own physical needs, attend school, graduate, help play practical jokes with his sister and cousins, take a bus to his Work Training Program and much more. But, what he had to learn after all of this is not much different from what we had to learn: Lessons of Life and Lessons of bigotry and prejudice not only toward people of different color or races but toward people who are different. Stan learned that not everyone is who he or she appears to be. Stan soon learns people can be cruel and underhanded. People take advantage of you when they think you are less knowledgeable than them. This holds for everyone, not just Stan.
His love of bowling, the first time he went to an Atlanta Braves game and his courage to forge ahead against all adversity makes you wonder why young people today give up so fast and try and take the easy way out.
Stan is truly a person to be admired. Nominated for the Toby Nobis award, which recognizes business, and employees who are challenged helped to give him a sense of pride but to his family too. Although he did not win this did not deter him. This was a man who was not supposed to be able “to do the simple things in life. How amazing the brain works,” as the author puts aptly puts it. Where others would whine and complain when Stan was faced with a problem he would handle it head on.
Flying by himself, dealing with a broken television set and adversity at work, he is truly an inspiration for all those who take defeat so easily and readily. Imagine trying to explain to someone the difference between 9-pin bowling and the regular method. As a bowler I do know the difference and when Yvonne describes the incident where Stan was trying to explain why he and his knew friend Lisa changed to a different bowling alley I remembered my brother trying to teach me to bowl without toppling over and throwing my arm cross alley. This story brought back some great memories. But, some lessons are difficult to learn and this time when Lisa proved herself to be a user and conniver his mother stepped in and thwarted Lisa’s scam. Others do not only learn by those who are challenged but these lessons of life too. You can never be too careful when it comes to lending money to a friend, especially when it appears that money is a primary reason for the friendship.
With their Abbot and Costello routines and their many funny high jinks Yvonne, Stan her mother and her family learned that you could do anything if you want to and don’t ever give up.
Everyone looks up to their parents and wants to emulate or follow in their footsteps. Stan loved his father and spending quality time with him and imitating some of his mannerisms and daily routines cemented their bond even more.
You need to read the last chapter written by Yvonne’s mother and presented at West Georgia for everyone to hear. Yvonne’s mother is truly amazing and someone who did what most mother’s should do but might not have the wherewithal or the stamina to do: SHE WOULD NOT ACCEPT FAILURE AS AN OPTION!
Stan is an example of what people must do in order to be happy. He accepted who he is and what his limitations and capabilities are. He would not blame the world for his problems and accepts people for who they are not bigoted or prejudice or hurtful to anyone.
Stan: I have a nephew that was born deaf. No one knew this until he was about a year old. The doctors told his mother and father he would never stand, sit up, walk, and drive a car or more. Then, he entered Lexington School for the Deaf and his mother and father would not let this diagnosis hamper him. He is now the father of a beautiful little girl and a web designer for a major hotel chain and more. Never give up on who you are. Never think that just because a doctor says it that it is written in stone.
Your influence on others will remain in their hearts and mind just by reading your story now and forever. Educators need to follow the example of those who cared enough about Stan and her caring enough to help him learn to read, speak and more. For those educators who teach Special Education you need to remember that kids learn at their own pace and as with Stan they will often surprise you and overcome insurmountable odds. Never give up and never say never.
You need to read this book and give it to every educator, doctor and parent to know that knowledge if powerful and love and family can help you through anything. Stan’s life is message to all of us that everyone can succeed no matter what if they want to.
This book deserves more than just five stars. Fran Lewis: reviewer