Author, Jeff Seitzer, Promotes Water Safety After Son’s Loss in the Great Lakes Area – Interview
Ever have life just throw you a curveball that you didn’t see coming? That’s exactly what happened to author, Jeff Seitzer.
Recently, I had the pleasure to meet and chat with Jeff Seizer and hear his story and you can agree, that this story is his curveball.
Jeff was a self-involved scholar
struggling to take care of himself in many ways because of neurological issues (including encephalitis) from early on and was used to life being at the tip of his fingers and doing whatever came his way in teaching, traveling, exercising, etc. Life was spontaneous and simply revolved around his own needs and his wife, Janet took care of everything else, until Jeff was catapulted into a position of caring for his special needs son, Ethan.
Upon the birth of Ethan, Jeff expected life to return to normal and thought of himself as the one to occasionally drop the kid off at a babysitter, school, but that daydream came to a halt when Ethan “chose” Jeff as his caregiver from infancy.
Jeff became a stay-at-home dad
and was responsible for appointments upon appointments, therapies, playdates, and you name it. This was a tail-spin for Jeff thinking how could he take care of a baby when he struggled with taking care of himself?
Jeff persevered and Ethan thrived! Jeff learned that putting other’s needs before his, pushed Ethan to know that living life to its fullest was the only option, and Ethan taught Jeff to live in the moment. And so, they lived JUST.THAT.WAY turning Ethan into a little boy who was smart, caring, creative and more…. pushing aside all his health issues that he had to work around.
But when life seemed to be at its fullest for both Jeff and Ethan,
Ethan tragically died in a swimming accident at the age of nine in the Great Lakes area. Life came crashing down for Jeff, but once again, Jeff persevered and grew from all he learned from Ethan, by putting others first.
Jeff’s church community was beyond supportive to his families’ new needs and he also began to volunteer and share water safety. Rescue Project also made this video (a short documentary) to educate others of water awareness by sharing Ethan’s story:
Danger Amidst the Beauty – The Ethan Seitzer Story – YouTube
As mentioned in the video by Jeff, he and his family are now somewhat disabled, but moving forward. The launch of his new book, The Fun Master (which Ethan’s friends called him) is just that…. a story of A Father’s Journey of Love, Loss, and Learning to Live One Day at a Time and honors the life of his son, Ethan whom he lost twelve years ago.
Jeff’s fight for closure isn’t over, but all the blood, sweat and tears into his new book really put Ethan’s wonderful life into prospective and Jeff’s life also for the better person he became.
The Fun Master can be purchased at any local book store or on Amazon.
About the Author
JEFF SEITZER: Jeff Seitzer was an expert on the care of the self, himself in particular, before he unexpectedly became a stay-at-home dad. Accounts of his on-the-job training as a full time parent have appeared in the Omaha World-Herald, Hippocampus, Brevity, Adoptive Families Magazine, and elsewhere.
An award-winning teacher, he is also the author of a number of books and articles on law and philosophy and a regular contributor to the CMTA Report. Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, he now lives with his family in Chicago, where he teaches at Roosevelt University. His memoir, “The Fun Master” was honored as a 2022 Best Book Awards Finalist in Creative Nonfiction from the American Book Fest. To learn more about Jeff’s life and work, visit: https://jeffreyseitzer.com/
Follow Jeff Seitzer on social media:
Facebook: @cornhuskerinexile | Twitter: @urbancornhusker
*Photo courtesy of Jeff Seitzer
**A special thank you to Jeff for allowing this interview and being an advocate for Ethan’s story (and Jeff’s personal story, also.) Awareness is key along with the gift of community (and church community) to work through our needs.