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Rep. Horbach gets lesson on priorities

February 3, 2010
By State Rep. Lance Horbach (R-Tama)
I was sitting in a meeting at the capitol, explaining a business bill to other legislators. My cell phone began to vibrate so I looked at the caller ID; it was my son Nick. I took the call because he was with my 3-year old granddaughter, Sahara, who was recovering from surgery at Iowa City Hospitals. The first words I heard were from a little voice saying “Grandpa! Grandpa! Grandpa!” (That’s a little cheer I taught her for whenever she wants me). We talked about many things, but mostly I just listened…Then I said “Grandpa loves you”, which always marks the end of our phone calls. Immediately she responded, “Grandpa don’t leave me, don’t leave me!”. Complete silence at my end, my heart had dropped so far that I could barely tell her that I was still there.

I asked myself, why wasn’t I there with her? I went through all of the excuses I could muster, but the short answer remained….I should have been there with her. The guilt lead me to question what I was doing in Des Moines when I have a family back home that needs me and depends on me. With the picture of Sahara clearly in my mind, I waded through the guilt for an answer.

I’m in the legislature for the same reason many parents and grandparents are suffering through extra hours at work….we ALL want a better future for our children and grandchildren. Working families are doing their best to provide a future and I’m doing my best to protect their future. It’s a commitment that involves all of us! It starts with living within our means, prioritizing safety, providing a quality education system, and finally….playing a leadership role within our family where parents teach priorities to their children.

I know what’s important and this time I didn’t make a good decision. The only comfort I had was that Sahara’s parents were both at her side and just as important. In a prayer before surgery, I asked my God to stand beside Sahara in my absence. The phone call from my granddaughter was proof that HE was there.

Lesson learned…Thank you God!

Article Photos

State Rep. Horbach



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