A Son’s Plea for Help

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by Sharon M. Kennedy

Recently I read a story in the Sault News about a teenager who started a fundraiser for his father, Tim Hawthorne of Gaylord. The Hawthorne family is not well known. They’re not wealthy or major players on the political stage. Their skin is not the right color. Had it not been for their story written by John Carlisle of the Detroit Free Press, the family would have gone ignored and unnoticed by the public. Readers wouldn’t have learned of the devotion of a father to his son and a son’s gratefulness to his father.

Every day we hear about the trials and tribulations of a former president who refuses to admit he fiddled the books and is finally facing the consequences of the fiddle. He whines and cries about a “witch hunt.” He says he’s being persecuted by the Democrats. He complains the courtroom is too cold, the witnesses are convicted liars, the New York jury is against him. He’s a modern-day Rumpelstiltskin who rants and raves and stomps his feet when he doesn’t get his own way.

Contrast his behavior with the quiet dignity of Tim Hawthorne and his son, Trae, when they faced challenges thrust upon them through no fault of their own and fought without an army of lawyers by their sides. Young Trae’s journey is over now. The bone cancer that consumed his body won in the end, but it did not beat or embitter him. His last thoughts were for his father who needed help, so Trae started a Venmo fundraiser.

Mr. Hawthorne was by his side when Trae’s spirit left his body. Which family member is by the side of Mr. Trump as he sits in a cold courtroom and listens to former friends recall his parade of sins? Both men are fathers. One struggles financially. One is a self-proclaimed billionaire. One is Black. The other White. One a widower. One a husband. Given a choice, which man would you prefer as your father? The one who gives his all for his family or the one who gives his all for himself?

This is not a judgment of DJT. It’s merely an observation of his public persona. Like you, I know him only through his political rallies, his outrageous outbursts on social media platforms and his childish behavior in court. He appears to be a man void of integrity and a conscience. Was he always like this or did some deeply buried childhood trauma forge his psychopathic personality? We’ll never know because if he ever admitted what happened, that admission would destroy him.

photo credit: John Carlisle (Detroit Free Press)

People like Mr. Hawthorne and Trae walk among us every day, but we don’t know it. They shoulder their burdens and carry them without media attention. The homeless, the hungry, the ill who suffer in silence could be our neighbors, but we hope not. We have comfortable homes, plenty of nourishing food and good health. We don’t want to be reminded of those less fortunate. After all, what can we do? Isn’t that the responsibility of the government?

When I read the story Carlisle had written, I thought about the love Trae had known during the 16 years he was given on Earth. I thought about the important things in life that have nothing to do with boasting or self-promotion. I thought of the billions of dollars wasted on political smear campaigns. But mostly, I thought of the father who lay next to his son as he took his last breath. Such men have no regrets. They know their child is at rest, and they left no unspoken words of love between them.


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