Leddin for Frankfort

"West Wing"-inspired "Leddin for Frankfort" trustee sign. 

Last week, I had the privilege of watching my dad take the oath of office as a trustee for the Village of Frankfort. As I watched him hold up his right hand and repeat the oath, with my stepmom and brother alongside him, I was filled with so many different thoughts but only one emotion — gratitude.

I felt grateful for my family, as my almost 90-year-old grandfather sat beside me, snapping pictures of his son with his iPhone, and thought about how lucky we are to have him in our lives. We’re gearing up for a family reunion to celebrate Grandpa’s 90th in July, and I can’t wait.

On the other side of Grandpa was Alexis, my sister’s newborn baby and my dad’s first grandchild. Alexis slept through most of the evening, but just looking at her sweet little face made me feel so hopeful for the future and grateful for our ever-growing family.

I also felt grateful for having grown up in such a great place as Frankfort. It always will be home in my heart, and it was wonderful to see the number of people — seasoned and new — taking an active role in their local government.

I felt grateful to have the opportunity to watch my dad in that special moment, knowing this was a unique accomplishment to add to his already successful professional and civic careers. It wasn’t an easy road for him to go from plan commissioner to trustee, but his positivity never wavered.

It also brought to mind one of the mantras that gets me out of bed in the morning — you never know what the future holds. When he was my age, I doubt by dad gave much thought to being involved in local government. This interest didn’t kick in until his 50s.

During the past 14 months, it has been commonplace to feel stuck and as though we might never move forward. That’s a feeling I’ve had from time to time outside of the pandemic, too.

Then, it’s instances such as watching your dad embark on a new journey he worked so hard for that remind you the future has so much in store, and it’s so exciting you don’t know what it has to offer.

I’m very proud of you, Dad. Thank you for reminding me the future is exciting, for teaching me change is good and for introducing me to “The West Wing” because, as Jed Bartlet says, “Decisions are made by those who show up.”

Taylor Leddin is the Life editor at the Daily Journal and is the editor of Lifestyles of Kankakee County. Her column, “A Taylor Made Life,” publishes every Saturday in the Life section. She can be contacted by phone 815-937-3369, email tleddin@daily-journal or via Twitter @leddinlife.