Posted by on July 15, 2019

This post is in honor of my dad who is in hospice and fighting the good fight, but we know his time here is short. My dad and I are very close. When “they” say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – “they” mean me and my dad. Actually dad is close with all of his kids, each one of us in their own special way. My dad has always been and still is a fierce dad. Protective of all his children and grandchildren. He’s a papa bear, without a doubt.

And as close as we are, and all of the things that we have in common – when it comes to politics we are far apart. Politics aside, we share the very same values: those of community, freedom, safety, common humanity and a unwavering love of family. When dad and I talk politics, we couldn’t be more different. But when we talk values, we’re right next to one another.

My mom and dad came to the United States in 1977. I was just seven years old. As I grew into a teenager, I loved taking advantage of their immigrant naïveté, especially when it came to American culture. I used it to get away with quite a bit, and yet, I still turned out okay . There is no question that  my parents are very proud of who I’ve become.

I enjoyed my childhood. My mom and dad provided all of the needs and many of the wants for me and my siblings. We were fortunate to have always had food on our table, a roof over our heads, clothing to wear, and traditions to learn from and carry-on. Most important of all is that we had love all around us all of the time.

Now a days, I try to spend every minute that I can with my dad, putting much of my life on hold. But, this Friday night I will be attending a special event. So, in honor of my father I’m making an exception and missing family dinner. I’m going to spend Friday night fighting for families to be kept together and for children to be able to live out their childhoods as healthy, well-cared for humans.

These are the values I have learned from my mother and father…All children deserve to experience love, safety, food, clothing, and a warm bed.

I will stand up for children who deserve the freedom of childhood. Friday night, I will be the voice of my papa bear- just a younger one. I invite you to join me at Lights for Liberty, an event being sponsored throughout the United States. Compassionate Atlanta, with many sister agencies, will be sponsoring the gathering this Friday night at 7 PM at Plaza Fiesta on Buford Highway. Let’s raise the voice of compassion in Atlanta and around the world. I’m proud to honor my dad this way. I hope to see you there.

Leanne Rubenstein  
Compassion Cultivator/ED 
Compassionate Atlanta

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