A Silent Voice

With God’s hands lying over top of his, dyslexia has come as his greatest gift….the gift of creativity. An emotionally-charged, true story…..

Little boy learning to write alphabet on white board


He listened to the adolescents innocently frolicking beyond the school. The merry-go-round is full of petticoats and saddle shoes, as very young men in dungarees and penny loafers fair the propulsion. Life was grand back then – hide and seek, dodge ball, and tag….except for the little child who remained on the school steps writing in his loose-leaf notebook. Tear drops fell where the pages filled up with dreams – sketches of boats and homes. A little child, reserved in dialog, smiled at the others as he drew a world others had never seen.

Parked on the hard concrete steps, weathering-in a t-shirt, shorts and Keds, sat this little butterball of an overweight kid. Drawing his life away, believing in his brothers, “Boy’s Life” magazines, he dreamt that someday he’d find his way to those pristine places.

A door opened and a teacher kicked him from behind. “Let’s go!”, she said as she blew her whistle. “It’s time for class. Lunch and recess is over.” So as not to be stampeded, he slid to the side and grabbed ahold of a rail, hoping the herd of classmates didn’t trammel his dreams. Last in class, he pulled his chair up to the front by the teachers desk. The class unmercifully laughed him.

A Silent Voice 3

But in his world, time didn’t matter – just the joy of living somewhere else other than at a dirty desk of pencils and crayons. Trying to comprehend as a little child, the shortest in class wandered off in the middle of arithmetic. He took up space until the pre-dismissal bell rang. Finally! Another day of being made fun of had come to an end! So, he walked home with Peter, his next door neighbor.

And as the night drew near, the portable black and white waved it’s tinfoil rabbit ears. It was time to stick his nose back into the books of things he couldn’t remember. His little school desk at home sat in front of the window. He stared out into the dark and tried to count the lightning bugs. His mom would blurt out, “Okay, let’s go over your spelling words.” So he bluffed his way as though he had studied but there was no use….letters were reversed. Another night. In the tub, then saying prayers by 8:30. If only his father, who didn’t live with him, was there! He prayed so hard to him.

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No one knows the artistic mind of childhood dreams, especially when many things in life are incomprehensible. Dyslexics only observe their life like a race. Their peers succeed, leaving them behind to only dream and think, “Why can’t I be as lucky as them?” But our God above knows, like a mother’s love, when one is so distraught. Where discipline was physical abuse, the frustrations would then grow as his living became more difficult.

Looking to the heavens today, where only answered prayers are sent, we see this little child again, struggling to do another mission – God’s work. We now listen to the innocence of a silent voice – one that brings home the memories of messages of long ago. For no one could ever imagine that that little child, today, would ever become an author! No one – not even him!

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You have just read an emotionally-charged, true story written and lived through the eyes of its “author”, Dana S. Bicks. Though it was very difficult for him to recall and write these early moments of his life, his message can be read loud and clear – NOTHING IS UNATTAINABLE! With God’s hands lying over top of his, dyslexia has come as his greatest gift….the gift of creativity.

Exodus 4:10-12

But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

 

 


EDITOR’S NOTES:

I do not profess to be in this medical field so my notes, here, will not dwell into the causes of learning disabilities. Rather, I prefer to expand your knowledge about the thought processes of adults with these types of handicaps.

Your chances of knowing someone with an LD are pretty good. Do not assume that learning disabilities are always a bad thing. For many individuals, an LD gives them a distinct advantage. Consider these facts:

  • People with dyslexia tend to be broad thinkers, and intuitive. They are a sign of character and strength when tackling every day’s problems.
  • Dyslexics are often said to possess exceptional creative skills and an ability to bring together ideas from different areas of their life – an original and out of the box thinker, if you will. (Excellent story tellers and writers, you think?)
  • Many individuals have the dual diagnosis of being both gifted and LD. Therefore, everyone stands to gain from their brilliant mind.

 

Do you or someone you know, suffer, as an adult, with learning disabilities? Here is a list of suggestions to overcome LD adult fears of success:

  • Work at a job that takes advantage of your strengths.
  • Get lots of physical exercise.
  • Identify people who, “say what they mean and mean what they say” and hang out with them as much as possible.
  • Find that special thing that you do extremely well and run with it!
  • A positive attitude makes a big difference.
  • Remember that you do not have to be perfect!
  • Work in an area with few distractions so as to remain focused on the job at hand.
  • Use books-on-tape and assistive technology, such as screen readers, voice-recognition computer software, and spell check features.

Above all, pray for God to bless you with all your capabilities! He does answer prayers! God uses the disabled for His glory. He allows some people to be disabled to show His awesome love for all of creation and to help us imitate His love.

 


Learning Disabilities and the Law:

Public Law 105-17, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997, is the federal special education law. IDEA was signed into law in June 1997, with final federal regulations published in March 1999. This law replaces all earlier versions of Public Law 94-142, the Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975.

In 2004, there was a reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, where significant changes were made as to the identification of individuals with learning disabilities so that they can receive the needed educational services.

Code of Ethics

It is where our Lord holds us close and we pray that believing in Him is the right way of life.


 

Code of Ethics 3

 

Looking back to my younger years , I never understood life. Why do trees blow in the direction of the wind? Why do the leaves turn in the autumn chill? Why does the sun rise in the east in the early morn? My mother tried to explain that it was the way God intended, long before I was born. I guess she was right. I never questioned what she said, although I never understood. But it was actually the principles of life that she was trying to preach.


 

2 Peter 1: 3

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence

 


I grew up fast after Pop passed. Life changed for us. My brother and I never agreed on anything. Respect was a word that was hardly heard but I learned early there was a code. A code to follow…be it God, family, or honoring those you love. But it came with a price. We showered our feelings over the hurts we endured.

All of us learn early in life, somehow, there is a code of ethics we must follow. It is where our Lord holds us close and we pray that believing in Him is the right way of life. We give our hearts to Him as He is our Savior. It gives us direction.

 

Code of Ethics

 

Honoring the past and looking forward to the future, we praise our parents and teach the future generations that God is the common denominator of respect. Humbly we give praise…it is our way of life.

God’s eloquence sustains life for all his creations. I’m humbled by His magnificent beauty and shutter at His presence. We give thanks before we partake. Remember, if it wasn’t for His ever presence in our lives, we would remain in the absence of His grace.

 

Code of Ethics 2

 

 

Let us worship His name!

 

 

 


 

 

These Metallic Memories

….only God with all His strength would seemingly find our two spirits.


 


If I could go back into the chapters of my mind and resurrect memories, I wish I hadn’t had my soured childhood. Teenage pressures conquered my soul as I was bullied in school as the “the fat kid”. Constantly in one turmoil or another, I watched my father wilt away. I was the young age of fourteen. My dad and mentor is now in heaven but I still look to the skies today to talk to him. I guess, though, there were some fonder times. Let think if I can remember one.

My parents sent me to Rising Sun summer camp every year. It reminded me of the song, in more ways than one. I always looked forward to it.

I moved out at twenty-one under defiant protest. I didn’t need to hear the sermons filtering down. I was so disgusted with everyone that I packed my bags and moved to Florida.

Reaganomics crippled the economy with 14% interest; life had stymied. The challenges we met were battled on the front lines whether it be Vietnam or our own city streets. God, I’m sure, watched from above. But nonetheless, drudgery became a way of life. Until…..

A knock at the door and a metallic memory you’ll never forget – the innocence of an Angel. Poised, her persona was nothing short of Heavenly. With no way to stay in touch, God was the only. Priors soured, single now, neither knew the other’s crossings. But those joyous moments became a distant dream as reality set back in, like an evening thunderstorm, scattering debris. The trials and tribulations remind me of metals on a lapel from wars fought on a personal front. We struggled to survive. Our pure little hearts never realized the heartaches we individually endured. But God saw what no one else could believe, “a spark”, thirty years ago that united two souls in infamy.

metallic memories

Youthful in spirit, with collected memories from obituary relationships, only God with all His strength would seemingly find our two spirits. He reconnected these metallic memories of life.

 

Working feverishly to build an empire, may God too, bless our days and nights. It’s another battle to share from God above. My eyes closed, I listen to your blessed spirits, your fingers going a hundred miles an hour.

We move to a new plateau, holding hands, while making more “Metallic Memories.”

 

memories

Wandering Back…

God, somehow, has helped me find my way back to the lemonade stands.


Wandering back 2

My eyes aren’t 20/20 anymore and hearing isn’t what it should be either. But wandering back, winters were winter and summers were hot as haities. I reminisce those times with you.

Leaving doors unlocked and restful nights, are now things of the past. We would open the windows and listen to the locusts after a spring shower. As the hot summer’s heat sweltered, we slept by the fans trying to relax. Yes, life was good back then.

We sold lemonade (and no permits needed) and made lots of money…or so we thought. Mowing yards was an occupational hazard as poison ivy spread like wildfire. Sea nettles dried on the docks as the sun evaporated the life out of them. As I remember, I never thought I’d live so long.

sea nettlelemonade

Those were awesome times to be a kid; always creating ways to entertain ourselves. We’d play all day until dinner time. Dad would say grace and mom repeated, “Put your napkin in your lap !” – “elbows off the table!” Oh some of the things we wish we could forget! Mom really loved me but she reminded me of boot camp reveille. 0600, “Hurry up you’ll miss the bus!” Homework started at 19:30 and bed was at 21:00. Reflecting, I wonder if it was really worth it. I guess parents plant seeds with hopes some will root. They did the best they could under the circumstances…

Associated with five wars now, I’ve lost some friends from high school and a neighbors son’s never made it home. Looking back, my path wasn’t so bad. I guess mom tried hard to protect me because of the hell she saw. I’ve stumbled some but haven’t we all?? But God, somehow, has helped me find my way back to the lemonade stands and my first love.

Our gracious Father is my insurance to a better life. He has granted me the ability to share, through blogs and my books, with those who choose to follow His Holy word. Anointed, I am, through all the turmoil and my fair share of skirmishes…


Related Articles:

All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. (Isaiah 54:13)

Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— (Deuteronomy 4:9)

…even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:33)


Wandering back

Where The Dogwoods Blossomed

…piece of history dedicated to things that will never change – Severna Park memories


My father bought a project, in a faraway place, around the bay in Maryland. I was three years old. It looked like we were moving out of the big city to a little community where I knew no one. One cold day, I packed my toys and some clothes, disgruntled that I had to move. My life caved. I was moving away from my best friend. I saw little importance of being stuck on a cliff and all the rules that implied.

Unaware of the significance of growing up in a little place called “Round Bay”, my father took on the challenge of remodeling a turn-of-the century covered dance floor on Eagles Nest Point. Sitting on a cliff, overlooking the water, our weekends became filled with hammers and saws. Mom, I remember, wasn’t very happy living on the old wooden floor, so she would cover it with rugs. It wasn’t much to look at, as I recall; just a roof and a floor but my father was planning to turn it into our home.

It took many months to rebuild that old pavilion. The story goes that in the summer, rich people would come to dance the night away overlooking the Severn.

Eventually… trying to make my mother happy, which was never easy, my father, then bought and constructed a house next door. Bless his soul! Most knew it as the “Smith’s”, but it was the “Bick’s” home first.

I guess I was five, when I was the only one to survive going over the cliff, on my tricycle. That was enough for mom! Things were sketchy and not long afterwards, mom and dad split up. My dad left and we moved to our third home on Waters Road in Round Bay. It was perfect because in the interim, my buddy and his family, moved from Randallstown to just down the road.

My good memories are plentiful. On the 4th of July, fire engines would parade through the neighborhood; in December, folks would gather to canvas the community singing Christmas carols; and then there was Yardley’s annual telephone book – which we now wish we’d held on to!

I watched as Round Bay blossomed after 1953. The swimming meets and festivities at Main beach; and boats turning from wood to fiberglass. Just a brief funny memory…. some years later, after mom remarried, My stepfather, Skip and I went to the Eastern Shore. He had a 12 foot row boat built for me for $125.00. Made of spruce, it sank every season until it swelled.

About 7 years old, we moved away from Waters Road. This time, my dad bought a house for mom, my brother and I, on Riggs Avenue in Olde Severna Park. He paid $12,500 in cash. Moving from Sunset Knoll, in Pasadena, we headed back to Severna Park.

Thanksgiving 1958, mom remarried. It was my stepfather, Skip’s birthday. I guess they chose that date so he wouldn’t forget. Confusing times back then… my dad disappeared; I didn’t know why.

Somewhere around 1960, we moved back to Round Bay onto Laurel Rd, right above “dead man’s curve”. My little brother was born in 1962. I was at Bea and Larry Cranes house – great friends of my parents. I’ll never forget when Mrs. Crane came running outside. I was on my bike, and she was yelling, “It’s a boy! It’s a boy! And it’s on my birthday!”. The stupid things you remember…

The Cranes and my stepfather’s family, the Carr’s, played a large part in St. Martin’s in the Field Episcopal Church. Ironically, there silently stood in the vestibule, my dad’s name engraved on the golden shovel.

My dad passed away in ’65 – a terrible loss to any child. Now I commemorate his life. A man with such vision who played an intricate part in the community. Very few know that. Someday, I hope to retrieve the golden shovel. It no longer stands in the entrance of the original church.

Skip, my stepfather, was a great man; one I could say that his reputation preceded him. He started out in real estate in 1958, moving into a little red house up on the hill, behind Dawson’s store. Skip started working for Tommy and Cliff at the age of 14. He helped support his mother after his father passed away. Born in a house on the B&A, outside of Berrywood, there remains a statue to his legacy.

In 1971 or ’72, mom and Skip bought their final home at the water’s edge by the pier. He thought he was getting ripped off, paying that much money for a house. Looking back, I can’t help but laugh. What an investment!

Proudly, I’ve spent a large part of my life as a little piece of Severna Park. I graduated from Severna Park High School in 1969 and was raised in a wonderful environment. This is an honor to share my true story with you, my friends and family…..dogwood blogThis little piece of history is dedicated to the things that will never change, my memories.

 

Castaways

There we were, side by side, rowing off to another world.


You asked me once, how much do I really love you? The answer was easy, if I could only explain. I think about all the love songs I knew in my younger days. The dances in the dark, on the warm Friday nights, and the hugs I felt as we danced real slow, long into the night. The crowd thinned; you held me tight while sparks flew like the Fourth of July. But your mom came and picked you up and I didn’t even get a kiss good bye…….

The next day, I met you on the beach. We went out on my yacht. You sat next to me on the center seat grabbing an oar and I, the other. We were side by side, rowing off to another world. I got my kiss I missed the night before. We smiled as you laid your head on my shoulder. In the middle of the great big ocean, we’d find an island, and would live there forever.

deserted island
When night fell, we named the stars and snuggled under a blanket until it was time to go. Your dad, you know, was waiting by the door until you came home. Oh, the memories we would share as we grew old… the dreams of young love and promises to hold onto forever. We said “good night” and you took a phone to bed to see if I would call. The memories abound!

Now, those dreams have grown and reality is claiming the years. We sit and watch the sunsets from the porch and reminisce about childhood. Our children now live in their own busy world; there is no time to stop and share in the sunsets. We smile and laugh, remembering, while we hold hands and sip our wine; rocking under those stars above – pretending, all the while, we were out on the ocean; castaways, searching for our island where we fell in love. Hmmm…. when we are young!