Family first

I recently heard a rumor that the reason I no longer worked as a TV news reporter was because I was fired. Of course, a woman wouldn’t walk away from a career for her family. There is no way it was her decision. They didn’t want her anymore. I bet it’s because she is old. She has put on a few pounds.

I have all the respect in the world for mother’s who work. It is not easy juggling a career and family. Now, tell someone you are a ‘stay at home Mom’ and they look at you like you’re a leper. It’s a matter of time before we are forced to live in separate colonies.

Recently, the mayor of Rochester, NY, where I worked for a decade, dropped his bid for reelection. He lost the primary, but many expected him to run on another line. He cited “an illness in the family” as his reason for dropping out. Mayor Richards said this during a press conference:

“I have always tried to weigh my family responsibilities with my civic responsibilities and the desire to continue Rochester’s transformation. I am not sure that I have always made the correct decision, but I believe that I am doing so this time.”

Local radio personalities criticized his decision and cracked jokes. A few said he “saw the numbers and knew he wouldn’t win.” Another expressed his disappointment with Mayor Richards. It was his his “duty” to continue his bid for reelection. He needed to do it for the people. They scoffed at what they called his “excuse” for giving up. After all, why on earth would anyone give up a door plate for family? It turns out it wasn’t ridiculous after all. Mayor Richards’ son, Matthew, died today after a five year battle with cancer. He leaves behind a wife and two young sons. Matthew Richards was just 37-years-old. He was one year younger than me.

Mayor Richards was not just another politician afraid to admit defeat. He was a father who wanted to be with his dying son. My condolences to Mayor Richards and his family. I am also praying for those who were so quick to pass judgement.

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