Sunday, April 17, 2011


The following is a personal letter sent from a loving father to his growing daughter. It tells about life and the purpose of family.

Dearest Joanne,

Those beautiful quaking aspens that you've seen in the forest as we have driven along have one purpose in life. I would like to tell you about them because they remind me a lot of Mommy and you kids and me.

Those aspens are born and grown just to protect the spruce tree when it's born. As the spruce tree grows bigger and bigger, the aspens gradually grow old and tired and they even die after a while. But the spruce, which has had its tender self protected in its childhood, grows into one of the forest's most wonderful trees.

Now think about Mommy and me as aspens standing there quaking ourselves in the winds that blow, catching the cold snows of life, bearing the hot rays of the sun, all to protect you from those things until you are strong enough and wise enough to do them yourself. We aren't quaking from fear, but from the joy of being able to see your life develop and grow into a tall, straight woman.

Just like the spruce, you have almost reached the point where you don't need us much as you used to. Now you stand like the young spruce, a pretty, straight, young thing whose head is beginning to peep above the protection of Mommy and Daddy's watchfulness.

I'm telling you all this because from now on, a lot of what you eventually become--a lovely woman, a happy woman, and a brilliant, popular woman--depends on you.

You can't go through life being these things and at the same time frowning. You can't achieve these things and be grumpy. You have to grow so that your every deed and look reflect the glory that is now in your heart and soul.

Smile. Think right. Believe in God and His worldwide forest of men and women. It's up to you.

I love you,


Written by Senator Barry Goldwater to his daughter on June 11, 1948