My dad isn't an emotional guy. He has a very dry sense of humor and never laughs at his own jokes (even though he's got the most hilarious one-liners you'll ever hear)! I've seen him cry...3, maybe 4 times in his life. And it's always stifled.
I've always been proud of my dad. He's the one who taught me never to compromise my values and beliefs. He taught me that it does no good to be popular if you're not right. And humility is his greatest virtue.
My dad is a state representative in Indiana. He spends Monday through Thursday in Indianapolis, busy with legislative session, committee meetings, and other political functions. I was keeping my mom very informed on the baby issue, but because I don't like to bother him when he's in Indy, I didn't know how much he knew. I hadn't realized how invested he was in this story. Until today.
My mom called to tell me that a very important pro-life bill that I had talked to my dad about previously, passed the State House yesterday. I was thrilled! It was big news! There are 60 House Republicans, and they expected to get close to 60, if that much. She then proceeded to tell me that it passed with an overwhelming majority - far more votes than expected. Then she told me why.
My mom had called him in tears earlier in the day to tell him that the baby was lost. My dad, not being very emotional, consoled her the best he could, before running into the chambers for session.
Testimony on HB 1210 began. As he was listening to all of the bill's opponents call pro-lifers "crazies," accusing them of not caring about the women in crisis situations, etc...all the usual nonsense, he was forming his testimony. He had planned to go through the typical run-of-the mill facts about how basically everything they were saying was completely not true, it dawned on him that he had a very recent personal story to tell on this very topic.
He approached the podium, said he wouldn't be there long, and began to talk. Except...he couldn't speak. He got so choked up he had to step away from the podium. Typically the chambers are noisy - people aren't listening to testimonies, they're having their own side conversations, papers are shuffling, and it's actually hard to hear the speaker. But as soon as they noticed my dad's emotion, he told me you could have heard a pin drop - an anomaly in that room.
He continued by telling everyone that no...pro-lifers are not "crazies" and that he has a pro-life daughter in Maryland who offered to adopt an unwanted baby. Then he proceeded, in tears, to tell the Indiana House of Representatives, that he lost a potential grandchild to abortion today.
The bill passed with 72 votes. My dad is a hero.
**You can see my dad's speech here. To avoid watching 2 hrs of the Indiana House of Representatives legislative session (though thrilling), fast-forward to 2:23:00.