To the editor:
I grew up in Lima, Ohio, on Harrison Avenue. It was a good neighborhood. People cared about one another.
My parents were from Hardin County. There were 14 kids in Mom’s family and 12 kids in Dad’s. They were poor and knew how to survive. Both families were rock solid Midwest Republicans. Dad eventually worked at Westinghouse and was a staunch member of the union. Mom was a stay-at-home mom and took in ironing to make some extra bucks. I had two sisters. They were working, devoted wives and mothers. My brother served in the Marine Air Corps and flew with the late Sen. John Glenn and baseball great Ted Williams during the Korean War.
Mom would have nightly Bible reading and prayer time with us. Her favorite Bible reading was Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. She would say, “That’s how we are supposed to live.”
As the youngest child, I had opportunities my sisters and brother did not have. Dad had a decent job, health insurance, and a Westinghouse-provided pension. I got to go to college and earn advanced degrees. I worked while going to college and university. While in college, Mom and Dad sent me $20 a month to show they cared, a lot of money back then.
I am still working as a mental health professional after 45 years. I like my job and the people who entrust their personal lives with me. Some have insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Some are on disability with Medicare or Medicaid. None of these people are free-loaders. They have worked hard raising families and living decent lives.
Now they are scared. Will our Ohio senators, Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, strengthen health care? Will my congressman, Jim Jordan, throw these people to the wolves? Will the values espoused by author Ayn Rand rule America? Or will what mothers like my mom taught still live in us — that the Sermon on the Mount is one of the best and most noble ways to live?
Donald L. Spencer