It still happens.  Even today.  I want some advice from someone who always seems to have the right answer.  Maybe more important:  someone who loves me unconditionally – no matter what rotten thing I might say or do.  WHO could that be?  WHO would never walk away?  Take a look at the picture above.  It’s my Dad, Doug (on the left) with his brother, Frank.

Seems the picture was taken professionally, under protest, at the behest of my Grandma Donahue.  Her two ‘boys’ had just returned from fighting for our country.  They waged war through the Battle of the Bulge in Germany.  They made it.  Unfortunately, too many of their buddies, whom they loved and on whom they depended, didn’t make it.  Dad landed in Normandy on D-day +4.

I was lucky; my Dad was part of my life until I was over fifty years old with a wife and kids of my own.   As my son was attaining adulthood, I remember counselling him after a gym workout one day.  He listened with some surprise that I would STILL find need to call upon my Dad’s wisdom and insight.

Did I always think he was so smart?   Nope.   Ah, those teenage years when I was certain that I already knew EVERYTHING.  “How could Dad be so dumb?” I would think following an occasional argument.  It was amazing that after I got married and had kids, just how much smarter Dad had become.  Now, in my sixties, Dad is (without question) the smartest man I ever knew.  And, he gets smarter every day.

Dad was a patriot through-and-through.  He steadfastly stood for the virtues: honesty, diligence, loyalty, love-of country, and most of all: a love for his family that was so immense and so intense that it defies description.

To the day he died, he never had much use for Germany or Japan, nor its citizenry.  Attacking his country was an action he simply couldn’t bring himself to forgive.  And, he didn’t.   He didn’t talk much about the War.  As I got older and became a cop, I understood why:  it was painful and talking about it is like re-living it.  For many years, he went to annual reunions of his Army unit (Second Armored) and spend time with others.  I now realize that what I saw in their eyes when they met was a love for one another which comes only in extreme situations when your life has depended on another.

Dad’s advice differed in style from Mom’s.  He would always recommend a course of action that was morally sound, honest, and considerate of others. He could somehow unfailingly know its future impact.  The easy way out just didn’t make it with him.  I recall him saying how important it is for a man to have a clear conscience because, “You must look at yourself in the mirror every day when you shave.  It’s important that you like what you see.”

I want to talk to him now.  Our world is in turmoil.  It is my duty to participate in choosing a new leader for our Country.   It’s the same Country that my Dad loved and spent four years defending.  There are many other official positions to fill, as well.  These decisions are tough.

It seems that now – more than ever – our Country is at a fork in the road, each takes us to very different destinations.  My decisions must not be made lightly.  I wish Dad was just a phone call away.  Dad would know – with certainty – which path to follow.

Then, it occurred to me:  Dad gave me the same tools that he used to make decisions.  He taught me values.  No, not on how to be politically correct.  Dad was anything but that.  He taught me how to size-up a situation and come to the RIGHT conclusion.  It may not be popular.  It likely won’t be easy, either.  But, it will be the choice my Dad, Grandfather and those before them would make.

Which candidate is most honest?

Which candidate puts the needs of their fellow man ahead of their own?

When no one is looking, which candidate will probably do the right thing? (Is ethical)

Based on what you sense each candidate wants to accomplish, which one is most likely to take you and your family to a country where you want to live?

Which candidate treats those who work for them (the ‘little’ people) with respect and is sensitive to their needs?

Which candidate would you trust to take care of your children?

Which candidate would you most want as a next-door neighbor?

Which candidate loves our Country more than they love them self?

Thanks, Dad.  I knew that if I thought how a conversation with you might go, you would provide solid advice.

I love you, Dad.

Your son, Jim.

Stay safe,

Jim Donahue