Thoughts on My Mother & Father's Day

June 15, 2014 would have been my mother’s 60th birthday. Cancer kept her from being here, but it is very fitting that today is also Father’s Day.

Mom-Gramps-infantMy grandparents ironically did not become parents the day my mother was born. They would not adopt her for several days later, before taking her home from the hospital.

Adoption is one of the most important bodies of law we have in America. It ensures that children are raised by parents who love them, opposed to state bureaucracy.

A retired state court judge in Arkansas told me that adoption cases were his favorite cases to preside over, because of the fact he was helping children. God bless everyone brave enough to adopt a child, and the attorneys and judges who make the process work in the best interests of a child.


My grandfather is the model of fatherhood. A dedicated farm boy, who worked his way through college in a candy store, to ultimately become a dentist. Former patients still speak fondly of him, despite the passage of 30 years since he retired. He served our country during World War II in the Navy in the Pacific, returned to Iowa, and met his future bride on the bus ride home. The University of Iowa dedicated an entire dental clinic in his honor this year. He is very proud of his support to help others become dentists.

GrampsDentist-1My grandfather went into the healing arts because of his older sister Ruth who helped raise him. Ruth was a nurse and she ultimately would become President Eisenhower’s personal White House nurse in the 1950s.

There is no question my mother’s time as a teenager candy striper and becoming a paramedic were in no small part because of her father. She too believed in helping others. I literally have no idea how many people are alive today because of the 10 years she spent as a paramedic. It was her favorite career and one cut short while injured in the line of duty. It was impressive that firemen who had not worked with her in over 15 years attended her memorial, complete with a fire engine to remember one of their own.

Fatherhood is not easy. The entire point of being a dad is to safely raise a child to go on into the world. It takes hard work, from simply being there, to helping teach a child to read, and instilling proper values. The list of what a Father must do goes on. It would be pure Hell for any Father to watch both a wife and then a daughter die of cancer.

For all of the Fathers out there, thank you for being a Dad.

And Mom, Happy Birthday.