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Dear Tom,

I would like to nominate my father Willie Lindsay for Real Fathers Real Men. My dad has always been the light of my life since i was a little girl.

For 38 years, I’ve watched him sacrifice his life, happiness, and personal needs to care for my mother and myself. My mother was diagnosed with a serious mental illness right after I was born.  At the young age of 24 my newly married father had to quickly assume the role of both mother and father. While most men would have left and moved on with their lives, my dad stayed. Many thought he should have left, but he always told me he took his vows to my mother very seriously.

Her illness has placed her in the hospital many times throughout their marriage, but my dad continues to fight for her. He takes care of her every need whether it’s taking her to the doctors, shopping for her clothes, and doing all of the cooking.

I’ve asked him many times to allow me to care for her because he has done it alone for so many years. But he has always refused because he never wanted me to burden my life. If you know anything about caring for a loved one with mental illness, then you know it’s a very hard and an unpredictable sickness to deal with.

My dad has always been there for me and he never asks for anything in return, but if i could have one wish for him i would like for him to go on a relaxing vacation.

REAL FATHERS REAL MEN: Willie Lindsay  was originally published on