Quote of the Day – Family and Achievement

 

There are many kinds of success in life worth having. It is exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful business man, or railway man, or farmer, or a successful lawyer or doctor; or a writer, or a President, or a ranchman, or the colonel of a fighting regiment, or to kill grizzly bears and lions. But for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison. – Theodore Roosevelt

I saw that illustrated this Christmas. It was the first one I spent without my wife of forty years, the previous one being only two weeks before her death. This year, instead of everyone coming to my house, I went to Dallas, to spend Christmas with my oldest son, his bride of sixteen months, and my five-month old granddaughter. My other two sons were there, too. One lives in Fort Worth, the other one came up to the DFW area to spend the weekend with his fiance’s family.

It was the first time I and the three of them spent time together, relaxing, in over a year. (Funerals don’t count.) I suddenly realized how lucky I was. All three are out on their own, standing on their own two feet. They have their own places (the oldest two own homes), have worthwhile jobs, and have started or are starting families of their own. From a parenting standpoint, that is batting 1.000.

Janet would have been proud. I know I am. Theodore Roosevelt is right. It does make all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison.

There are 25 comments.

  1. Chris Campion Coolidge

    Thank you, Writer of the Seas.

    • #1
    • December 26, 2018, at 5:22 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    Merry Christmas, Friend. 

    I had more peace yesterday in quite time with my family and a best friend than I have had in a long time. It is what is important.

    • #2
    • December 26, 2018, at 5:39 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. iWe Reagan
    iWe

    Lovely.

    • #3
    • December 26, 2018, at 6:04 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor

    How blessed you are, @seawriter.

    • #4
    • December 26, 2018, at 6:06 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    How blessed you are, seawriter.

    Yes. I am. That is what keeps me going through rough times.

    • #5
    • December 26, 2018, at 6:12 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  6. Songwriter Member

    Agreed. Roosevelt got it right.

    • #6
    • December 26, 2018, at 6:36 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  7. PHCheese Member

    I had all my children and grandchildren for the last two days. It was amazing. I am happy for you.

    • #7
    • December 26, 2018, at 7:45 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. MarciN Member
    • #8
    • December 26, 2018, at 8:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Tex929rr Coolidge

    MarciN (View Comment):

    It’s wonderful to hear that this was a good Christmas for the Seawriters. :-)

    That quote is interesting and especially poignant given that Teddy lost his oldest son, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., in World War II. In looking up the biographies of his kids to refresh my memory of which one was killed in the war, it’s striking how all of his sons served bravely and heroically in World War II. In the PBS series on the Roosevelts, Teddy’s grief over the loss of his son was terrible.

    This is his son’s biography:

    He returned to active duty for World War II with the rank of colonel, and commanded the 26th Infantry Regiment. He soon received promotion to brigadier general as assistant division commander of the 1st Infantry Division.

    After serving in the Operation Torch landings in North Africa and the Tunisia Campaign, followed by participation in the Allied invasion of Sicily, Roosevelt was assigned as assistant division commander of the 4th Infantry Division. In this role, he led the first wave of troops ashore at Utah Beach during the Normandy landings in June 1944. He died in France of a heart attack the following month; at the time of his death, he had been recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross to recognize his heroism at Normandy. The recommendation was subsequently upgraded, and Roosevelt was a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor.

    Which brings us another great quote from Utah Beach “we’ll start the war from right here”.

    I think there is some dispute about exactly what he said, but it’s still a great quote.

    • #9
    • December 26, 2018, at 9:10 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Josh F. Inactive

    My grandfather passed this year. Upon watching old family videos and reading his obituary, I came to the same conclusion – 

    a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison

    Our Orwellian age has a term for it – #Priorities 

    • #10
    • December 26, 2018, at 10:05 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Miffed White Male Member

    MarciN (View Comment):
    That quote is interesting and especially poignant given that Teddy lost his oldest son, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., in World War II. In looking up the biographies of his kids to refresh my memory of which one was killed in the war, it’s striking how all of his sons served bravely and heroically in World War II. In the PBS series on the Roosevelts, Teddy’s grief over the loss of his son was terrible.

    This confuses me. Teddy died well before his son (and well before WWII). 

    .

     

    • #11
    • December 26, 2018, at 11:04 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Bethany Mandel Editor

    I was thinking of you this Christmas, I’m glad it was enjoyable. You and Janet have a lot to be proud of: your kids and also yourselves. Kids don’t turn out well by chance.

    • #12
    • December 26, 2018, at 11:27 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. MarciN Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    That quote is interesting and especially poignant given that Teddy lost his oldest son, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., in World War II. In looking up the biographies of his kids to refresh my memory of which one was killed in the war, it’s striking how all of his sons served bravely and heroically in World War II. In the PBS series on the Roosevelts, Teddy’s grief over the loss of his son was terrible.

    This confuses me. Teddy died well before his son (and well before WWII).

    Okay. I got that very wrong. Teddy died in 1919. Thank you.

    When he was 22, he lost his first wife and his mother within a couple of days of each other. The PBS Kevin Burns special dwelt on that death and Teddy’s grief quite a bit. I’ve deleted the comment. I really screwed that up. Too much eggnog. :-)

    • #13
    • December 26, 2018, at 11:46 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Amy Schley Moderator

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    That quote is interesting and especially poignant given that Teddy lost his oldest son, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., in World War II. In looking up the biographies of his kids to refresh my memory of which one was killed in the war, it’s striking how all of his sons served bravely and heroically in World War II. In the PBS series on the Roosevelts, Teddy’s grief over the loss of his son was terrible.

    This confuses me. Teddy died well before his son (and well before WWII).

    Okay. I got that very wrong. Teddy died in 1919. Thank you.

    He lost someone very dear to him. The PBS Kevin Burns special dwelt on that death and Teddy’s grief quite a bit. I’ve deleted the comment. I really screwed that up. Too much eggnog. :-)

    I believe you’re thinking of his son Kermit, who did die young. 

    • #14
    • December 26, 2018, at 11:56 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. MarciN Member

    Amy Schley (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    That quote is interesting and especially poignant given that Teddy lost his oldest son, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., in World War II. In looking up the biographies of his kids to refresh my memory of which one was killed in the war, it’s striking how all of his sons served bravely and heroically in World War II. In the PBS series on the Roosevelts, Teddy’s grief over the loss of his son was terrible.

    This confuses me. Teddy died well before his son (and well before WWII).

    Okay. I got that very wrong. Teddy died in 1919. Thank you.

    He lost someone very dear to him. The PBS Kevin Burns special dwelt on that death and Teddy’s grief quite a bit. I’ve deleted the comment. I really screwed that up. Too much eggnog. :-)

    I believe you’re thinking of his son Kermit, who did die young.

    That makes more sense. Except that Kermit died in 1943.

    I can’t seem to fit anything I’m reading with my memory–obviously incorrect–that the South American exploration was the result of a good friend of his urging him to go to take his mind off his grief. But that sentence just doesn’t match anything I’m reading on Wikipedia about Teddy’s life. I give up. :-)

    • #15
    • December 26, 2018, at 12:01 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Eric Madison Member

    I am in the process of moving to Waxahachie, TX over the next month or so, all for the purpose of getting closer to our kids and grandkids. Perhaps a meetup if you are in the area @seawriter?

    • #16
    • December 26, 2018, at 12:25 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. colleenb Member

    Kermit, the youngest son, died in WW One. He was an aviator. There is a beautiful fountain in the French village near where he served along with a street named after Kermit. It was Kermit’s death that sent Theodore Roosevelt to Africa. I believe Candace (?) Millard has a book on this period of Theodore’s life. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was the one who died in WW Two. He had pretty bad heart disease and probably would never have been allowed to serve let alone fight these days.

    • #17
    • December 26, 2018, at 1:23 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. colleenb Member

    Also @seawriter, I will say that we are awaiting the birth of our second grandchild. (Due date December 30.) I can only imagine the pride that you have in your family and the grief of losing the one who made that family with you. A continued Merry Christmas (I’m one of those 12 Days of Christmas persons) to you and yours.

    • #18
    • December 26, 2018, at 1:26 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Vectorman Thatcher

    Eric Madison (View Comment):
    am in the process of moving to Waxahachie, TX over the next month or so, all for the purpose of getting closer to our kids and grandkids. Perhaps a meetup if you are in the area @seawriter?

    You’re about 4 hours away from him. There are many Texas Ricochet members, and even those far away sometimes show up at a Texas Meetup. You might also wish to join the Texas Ricochetti group, and monitor the Ricochet Meetup group.

    • #19
    • December 26, 2018, at 1:39 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    Eric Madison (View Comment):

    I am in the process of moving to Waxahachie, TX over the next month or so, all for the purpose of getting closer to our kids and grandkids. Perhaps a meetup if you are in the area @seawriter?

    I am rarely in the Waxahachie area, but if I am, yes, a meet-up would be good.

    • #20
    • December 26, 2018, at 1:58 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. MarciN Member

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Kermit, the youngest son, died in WW One. He was an aviator. There is a beautiful fountain in the French village near where he served along with a street named after Kermit. It was Kermit’s death that sent Theodore Roosevelt to Africa. I believe Candace (?) Millard has a book on this period of Theodore’s life. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was the one who died in WW Two. He had pretty bad heart disease and probably would never have been allowed to serve let alone fight these days.

    We’re getting there. It was Quentin. It was his youngest son, and he died a war hero in World War I at the age of 20.

    Quentin died on July 14, 1918, and TDR died on January 6, 1919, at the age of 60, of a blood clot that traveled to his lungs.

    • #21
    • December 26, 2018, at 2:17 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. colleenb Member

    @MarciN Thanks. Embarrassing to mix up Kermit and Quentin.

    • #22
    • December 26, 2018, at 3:22 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Tex929rr Coolidge

    Since we are talking TR, just an aside – I don’t know how many of you have seen this before. It’s a photo of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession in NYC in 1865. One of the two boys in the second floor window on the left is Teddy Roosevelt, age 6.

     

    • #23
    • December 26, 2018, at 6:03 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  24. Songwriter Member

    Vectorman (View Comment):

    Eric Madison (View Comment):
    am in the process of moving to Waxahachie, TX over the next month or so, all for the purpose of getting closer to our kids and grandkids. Perhaps a meetup if you are in the area @seawriter?

    You’re about 4 hours away from him. There are many Texas Ricochet members, and even those far away sometimes show up at a Texas Meetup. You might also wish to join the Texas Ricochetti group, and monitor the Ricochet Meetup group.

    Having just moved back to (central) Texas, I’ve been reminded of two things: 

    1. Texas is huge.
    2. Texans regard anything within a two hour drive as “in the area.”
    • #24
    • December 27, 2018, at 6:15 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    Songwriter (View Comment):

    Having just moved back to (central) Texas, I’ve been reminded of two things: 

    1. Texas is huge.
    2. Texans regard anything within a two hour drive as “in the area.”

    Well, yeah it’s in the area. It’s only a two-hour drive.

    • #25
    • December 27, 2018, at 6:19 AM PDT
    • 4 likes