Thanks, Mom, for reminder of how important it is to vote

  • Published
  • By By Lt. Col. Steven Reese
  • 81st Medical Support Squadron commander
I recently received two important election reminders in the mail. The first was my absentee ballot to vote in the upcoming election. The second was a letter from my mother. 

You may wonder why a letter from my mother would be an election reminder.
It all started at 4:38 a.m. Nov.6, 1962, a cold morning in Salt Lake City - the moment I was born. The act of delivering an 8-pound, 3-ounce baby boy should've been enough for one day, but not for my mother. 

Once she ensured all my toes and fingers were in place and did all those other tender things that mothers do, she was out the door of the Cottonwood Maternity Hospital to cast her vote. Nov. 6, 1962, was election day.
This was no controversial "big deal" election day. There was no Kennedy or Nixon on the ballot. Still, my mother felt voting was important enough to leave her baby boy for an hour or two to vote. 

She taught me a lesson that day ... voting is important. 

Sometimes I'd like to forget the red, white and blue shirts she handmade for me whenever my birthday again fell on election day. However, I'll never forget my incredible mother understood her civic responsibility to vote, even if she'd just given birth to her eighth child -- me. 

Back to those two election reminders in my mailbox. My absentee ballot was important. The letter from my mother was priceless. 

Included in her letter was a small news clip from the Salt Lake Tribune documenting my mother's adventure in childbirth and voting on that cold election day morning 45 years ago. Her nurses just couldn't let the story of the "voting" mother go without being told and called the newspaper. 

This year my birthday again falls on election day. You can bet I'll be voting. You?