LETTER: Romney misses mark on valueTo the Telegram: This letter is in honor of my Mom — one of the 47 percent. Mom grew up during the Depression.
To the Telegram:
This letter is in honor of my Mom — one of the 47 percent.
Mom grew up during the Depression. After completing 8th grade, Mom was unable to go to high school for two reasons: The nearest high school was 25 miles away, and she needed to work to help the family.
Mom worked at a grocery store in her small immigrant community. She walked three miles back and forth to work while continuing her farm chores at home. During WWII, she worked for the railroad. After the veterans came home, she worked at a dime store.
When I was 6, our parents bought my grandparent’s farm. Mom worked from daylight until after dark doing farm chores, housework and raising three children. Mom also provided a home for four of her uncles. One of my fondest memories of Mom is baking six or more loaves of bread several times a week using a wood fired cook stove.
When I was 10, our parents began a small restaurant. For the next 13 years, Mom provided employment for more than 20 employees — many were high school students. She paid unemployment and disability insurance, Social Security and payroll taxes for her employees. She paid property taxes. During these years, Mom provided a home to eight young people for short periods of time because of situations at home. She paid for medications and other health care for one waitress who had a serious health problem. Employees were fed during their shift. Our father was often away; consequently, the responsibility of the business and home fell on Mom. Mom worked 12 to 14 hours a day 365 days a year for several years before closing the restaurant during the winter due to a lack of business. Some years the business provided enough profit for Mom to pay state and federal income taxes, but others showed very little profit.
After my parents sold the restaurant, Mom went back to work at the small grocery store until retirement. Mom even walked the picket line striking for higher wages. This was a Mom I never expected.
Mom and Dad depended on Social Security, Medicare, and Dad’s small retirement after 65. The last four years of their lives were spent in a nursing home paid for by Social Security, Dad’s retirement check and Medicaid.
Mom is my role model and my hero. She taught me valuable lessons: We take care of each other. We work hard. Everyone has worth and money is not the measure of a person’s worth. What a person contributes to society is far more important.
Mitt Romney’s comments that Mom did not take “responsibility” for her life, that she was “dependent”, that she was a “victim” is insulting to Mom’s worth and contributions and to millions of others who contribute in uncountable ways to their families and others, to communities, and to our country.