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I am my own person and to me family is everything.
My dream of doing medicine was not to be realised, when in year twelve I knew I would not get the grades needed to study medicine, so I entered nursing at Royal North Shore Hospital and loved every minute of my time there. After a stint at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne I left for Europe and the ubiquitous bus trip, a right of passage for the young Australian back in the late seventies.
With Danica’s death, I reached crossroads and decisions needed to be made on where my career was to go. I did go to University as a mature aged student and over the years of juggling parenthood, part time work and study I gained a Bachelor of Nursing, Diploma of Gerontology and a Masters in Aged Care Management.
Books by Jennifer Navin
Riding the Rainbow
My story of Danica’s six years of life is based purely on our personal experiences and in no way reflect the experiences of other persons.
In reflection, I hope that this book will help those families of newly diagnosed children who have a disability. Your world will feel as though it has collapsed and will wonder; Why me? Why us? Is it worth it?
Believe me, it is worth it and then some. The journey does take time, love and a lot of patience to make it through each day but with the dawn there is always a new day.
Who Is Jennifer Navin?
The inspiration for me writing Riding the Rainbow was my daughter Danica who was eighteen months old at the time I put pen to paper.
I wrote the initial manuscript for Danica.
To tell Danica’s story.
To help me try and understand why my daughter was diagnosed at the age of five months old with Cerebral Palsy.
I have no one favourite author. I read a broad range of literature.
Judy Nunn and Bryce Courtney for their wonderful novels of Australian history.
Hannah Kent; her rich and evocative language, so beautiful that you re read and linger over each sentence. Her skill in forming a story from the most elementary facts, that captures the reader in the time capsule of the novel. Amazing.
Maeve Binchey and Rosamunde Pilcher for the wonderful escapism to the Cornish countryside of England.
Dr Mahomed Khadra, a very talented surgeon with an amazing writing skill of telling the facts as they are.
I love a roast chicken dinner.
I love my garden. I really enjoy buying what I call rescue plants and then planting them and watching them recover and grow. The majority of my garden is of rescue plants.
When I was a child and really until senior school, I wanted to do medicine. I then realised that I wouldn’t have the marks for entry to Medicine and all I wanted to do was work and continue learning. Nursing ticked the boxes. I had planned to go to university as a mature age student to do medicine but I met Shane whilst overseas and the rest is history.
What makes a good story? How that person tells the story.
7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned from writing your book?
That Danica’s death was her gift to me and her gift to herself.
She gifted to me time. Time to parent Ashley and Kelsie without the mire of disability. Time to spend freely with Shane. Time to explore and complete further education.
Danica gave herself freedom. Freedom from a body that prevented her from doing so much. She is now free to run with the wind and talk nonstop.
I always liked writing, even as a young person. I dreamt of publishing. A Bucket List wish.
It took thirty plus years fiddling with a pen and paper. In 2010, a health scare with Shane and the following cataclysmic journey found me opening up that corner of my heart to sorely probe that aching wound of October 20th 1988, the day Danica died. It then took a further twelve months with my mentor, editor and publisher to finish and publish Riding the Rainbow.
My next book?!! Well I am writing and it is a bit of a patch work at the moment. Again, it is about family and history.