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My father gave me everything

by | Jun 12, 2024

By Maria V. Gallagher, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Editor’s note. Sunday is Father’s Day. We’ve been running stories all this week. As always, Maria’s story soars.

Above my desk in my office rests a snapshot of my sister, my father, and my mother at Easter time. It was apparently a family gathering at my Aunt Mary’s house that I missed, because I am absent from the photo.

But the picture is quite special to me because it is one of the few remaining photos I have of my Daddy. Yes, he was always Daddy to me.

The world was not kind to my father. As a child, he was discriminated against because he was full-blooded Italian. As an adult, I witnessed people treat him harshly, simply because they thought he was of Middle Eastern descent.

He had longed to be a songwriter but was never able to produce a hit. As a result, he worked as an accountant. But the jobs were hit-or-miss and our family struggled mightily financially.

When I went to graduate school, I remember my father looking in the mirror, saying he wished he could have done more for me. I responded that he gave me everything.

For he gave me the desire to dream…to strive for excellence in academics…to pursue journalism. He gave me large doses of encouragement and the hope that I could do anything I set my mind to.

He instilled in me a longing to fight for “the little guy”…to cherish family…and to follow my bliss.

He even assisted in my birth. My mother did not make it to the hospital in time, so she gave birth in the bedroom of their apartment, with my father catching me while on the phone with a doctor giving him instructions. I believe that his military training when young served him well during this medical emergency.

My father was my protector, my pillar of strength, and a profound muse. I learned so much from him and he contributed to my life-long love of learning.

Daddy passed from this world into the next a long time ago. But his imprint on my life remains. On this Father’s Day, I will remember him fondly and honor him the best way I can—by imitating his zest for life.

Categories: Life