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Rachael Martin's Statement - 04/27/98

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Boston, Mass

April 27, 1998

Statement of Rachael Martin

Through the trials and uncertainties of the past week, only one thing has been clear in my mind - that I support my father through this and whatever it may bring with no reservations. It is rare that a child gets a chance to reciprocate the love and devotion shown to her by a parent, and so I will stand proudly by him, as he has done for my sister and me.

The media has portrayed my father as everything from a gold digging playboy to a thief. And I am here to tell you that is simply not true. For as long as I can remember my father has had one full time job, that of raising my sister and me. Everyday my father woke up at 4 am to get us to swim practice and then it was back home. When we ate breakfast, he prepared our lunches and then it was off to school. He would drop us off at school and wave until he saw us walk in the doors, and everyday he was waiting when we walked out - by his ten year old orange Datsun with no air or radio, wearing the same soleless Birkenstocks, and still waving. And though I was embarrassed to get in the car, I am now grateful that I was given those opportunities for which he sacrificed himself. Because by the time I got home my father had cleaned the house, done the laundry and prepared dinner. It was in this safe and loving environment that I was able to become who I am. I was able to do my homework, to play sports, to be involved in any extracurricular activities I wanted to. And he was there for each of those. When I was eight, I wanted to join a diving team and my father let me. Doing a back flip some months later, I hit my head on the board. It was my father who dove in to get me, my father who spent extra hours everyday at a pool helping me overcome my fear, and my father who supported my decision to stop.

Every time l've turned the television on or opened a newspaper, I am told that I grew up in a world filled with money and devoid of values. But I don’t know that life. Most of the life I led was spent in small apartments in a small town where I was taught to be generous, honest and true to myself It was also where I learned to be independent and free, to be well educated and well loved. And a recent move into an affluent community has changed neither the lessons I learned nor the person who taught them to me. My father has not dedicated his life to wearing a tuxedo and driving a fancy car, but to supporting by any means possible those who are most in need. It is sacrifice that has defined my father’s life. Being a full time father, mother and friend was not easy, and I know that l did not always make it easy for him. And when I made a decision that he did not necessarily agree with, he was there to help me through it.

No matter what I have done, I have always had my father’s full support and love. I have to judge the facts based on the man I know, the man who made me feel secure, important and happy. This constancy, along with my father's unfailing devotion to make me the best person I can be, means that I will never have to question my decision to support him. And I can only hope that if am ever in the situation my father was 20 years ago, that I will have the strength to once again follow in his footsteps.

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