This past Friday, I successfully completed my first round of chemo. I attribute the relative manageability of the side effects to the three Fathers I have watching over me. Late last Thursday night an extraordinary man passed into the next life and the Notre Dame community gained a powerful angel in heaven. Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., was affectionately known around campus as “Father Ted”. He was the president of the University of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, and one of the nation’s most influential figures in higher education, the Catholic Church, and national and international affairs. As an adviser to presidents, special envoy to popes, theologian, author, educator and activist, Father Hesburgh was for decades considered the most influential priest in America. When he retired, after a record 35 years as president of Notre Dame, a survey of 485 university presidents named him the most effective college president in the country.
My dad continually tells me how proud he is of me, but more than anything I hope that each time he has that thought, he is proud of himself as well. I am who I am because of him. I’m glad to be a daddy’s little girl, and know I will be until the end of time. He is my rock, my guardian, my idol, and my deepest love. All that empowers me is, undoubtedly, a result of graces from God and unconditional love and support from my family. Unlike most kids, who outgrow their belief that dad is a superhero, I have only grown stronger in my conviction that my dad is “Superman”. With God ever-present, Father Ted above, and daddy here to hold my hand, I trust the upcoming treatments will be bearable…and pray they will be worth it.