In my latest reading of Tim Pawlenty’s Courage to Stand, Pawlenty talks about losing his mother to cancer in the late 1970’s.
This was a sad story to read. Pawlenty’s mother for a long time ignored her physical pain because she was committed to her work as a wife and a mother. She was a Republican who supported Nixon, which was rare where Pawlenty lived, and Pawlenty said, “I can only imagine how much fun it would have been to discover that we shared some mutual political interests as I grew older” (page 31). On her death bed, she told Pawlenty’s siblings to make sure that Pawlenty went to college, and Pawlenty was puzzled about what special potential she saw in him. Pawlenty also said that he expected his parents to always be there, but, in the case of his Mom, that did not happen. And Pawlenty’s father, a strong blue-collar worker, broke down in tears when his wife died (plus, he had to deal with unemployment at the time).
Pawlenty narrates that God was with him through all of this, and that his faith was deepened in prayer and at church. Moreover, Pawlenty said that God sent a human angel—-someone who gave Pawlenty a job in the produce department at the grocery store, which helped Pawlenty through college.