Woodcrest Resident is Topic of New Book
The bond between a father and daughter is a strong one. Just ask Leanne Eshleman Benner, who recently completed a biography on her father, Dr. D. Rohrer Eshleman. Entitled "Son of the Wind," the pages clearly convey the love and admiration she has for her father, who spent much of his life helping others through his skills as a medical doctor.
The book jacket entices readers to learn more:
"Dr. D. Rohrer Eshleman's life of adventure and faith unfolds in a century that grapples with mind-boggling change-—from horse-and-buggies to space flight, from crude medical intervention to high-tech procedures.
Benner's inspiration for the book came shortly after she finished writing a book of meditations called "The Peanuts In My Life." She was considering concepts for another project she was a stay-at-home mom and her daughters were in school. "My father had written a few of his stories about God's protection throughout his life and shared those with the family. When he made a passing comment, wondering what a writer could do with those stories, I kind of wondered, too, and offered to try. We made an informal pact that if the project became a strain or I felt like I didn't want to write the story after all, there would be no hard feelings. We considered it a sort of experiment and it took off from there," she explains.
For the better part of year, Benner and her father worked on the book – she did the writing and he reviewed it. She lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and her parents live at Woodcrest Villa in Lancaster, so much of their collaboration occurred online and on the phone.
Benner says many people think they know her father, but after reading the book, they learn about another side – particularly his sense of adventure. "They have known him as a physician, church worker, lecturer and counselor but really don't make the mental leap about how it fits his sense of adventure," she explains. "But he is one of the most fearless people I know, and he still tries new things and finds so much pleasure in doing that. I think it's because he is not afraid of making fool of himself. He has a well-defined sense of who he is and knows he won't fall to pieces if the worst happens. (Of course when a person has survived as many near-death experiences and hard core challenges as he has had, he gets pretty good at feeling invincible!)"
Now 90 years old, Leanne's father has slowed down a bit, but she marvels at the way he still looks for adventure and finds it in educating himself through day courses, lectures, books, conversations, etc. She also applauds his ability and heart to lend a hand to others facing challenging situations and notes that he is always willing to help people navigate the complex medical system. Boredom is not an option for either of her parents.
"One of my daughters, when she was quite young, was lamenting about what her grandparents would do after we drove away following one lively, joyful weekend," Leanne shares. "She asked, 'Do they just sit around reading the newspaper and staring at the walls?' So that's been the joke in our family because nothing could be further from the truth."
Leanne says she is forever grateful for the life lessons her parents imbued upon her, such as: "(1) Being willing to take risks by stepping outside my comfort zone. (2) Keeping my expectations low (so that if things don't go well I'm not too disappointed and if they go well it's a joyful bonus!) (3) Maintaining strong family and church relationships," she says. She also appreciates their belief in her writing ability and their support in this endeavor.
"Son of the Wind" is available through Leanne through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (540) 432-9064. The cost is $14.95, including shipping. In February, she did a special book signing for Dr. Eshleman's friends and neighbors at Woodcrest Villa. People can preview it by accessing "The Shelf" at http://issuu.com/mennonitepressinc./docs/son_of_the_wind.
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