While watching the tributes to the late Tony Snow, I was moved to hear again and again of his great love for his family and country. Political leaders and journalist all gave sincere compliments to a man that they unanimously agreed stood head and shoulders above the crowd.
It’s easy to tell the obituaries of men who were not well liked by remarks solely focused on achievements – but not for Tony Snow; men and women alike sincerely expressed their admiration for a man who lived out of his heart.
People referenced Tony’s humor, as well as his looks (particularly his hair), but I didn’t hear anyone discuss what I thought was his most unique quality … his voice. Years ago, accustomed to Rush Limbaugh’s booming and forceful voice, I tuned in one day to hear a softer, higher-pitched voice, sounding earnest and full of optimism. That was my introduction to Tony Snow.
Hearing Chris Wallace, Brit Hume and Juan Williams describing Tony’s great love for his wife and children, my wife, Gracie, and I had tears in our eyes. One of them stated that Tony left the White House so he could make more money for his family, knowing, he may not have much longer to live. The point was that Tony went on the speaking circuit to earn as much money as he possibly could, even with all his health issues, as his final act of providing well for his family.
We have several friends embroiled in messy divorces, which can all be attributed to the selfishness and immaturity of the husbands involved. Living out their foolishness and demanding lifestyles in front of their broken families, these men are providing their children with poor examples of fatherhood and maturity. Each of these men would be well served to look at Tony Snow’s example of how a man should love and care for his family. How Tony lived his life is what it means to be a “real man.”
Although Tony had no idea of who I was, I called him to discuss an event we were planning. I left him a message; amazingly, Tony called me back within the same afternoon. His voice sounded just as it did when I first heard him on Rush’s show, all those years ago – well, maybe a little more tired. He seemed to like the ideas we discussed, and Tony and I talked for a few minutes more. He then gave me his e-mail address and asked me to forward some more information to him.
I’ll never forget his gracious phone call. He took the time to call me, and I knew he was a busy man. As Gracie and I learned of his passing, I picked up my phone and, scrolling through, found his number and e-mail address. My wife looked at me with tears in her eyes, and we both knew never to delete the entries. I’m keeping them as gratitude to a man who inspired me to never stop looking for ways to care for my family … as well as serve the nation he loved so deeply.