A Good Parent – Martin Milner
Several people have asked me about the minor characters in That Ever Died So Young. I like Martin Milner, Kathryn’s father. It makes me question what it takes to be a parent. What are the requirements for parenthood? A man and a woman marry. They move into a townhouse they can barely afford. They lead thrifty lives so that they can try and save something. One may take on more responsibility at work for more money, or even take on another job. They get ahead and financially, they find a little relief. While they continue to try and build a life and marriage, they discover that one of them has a serious medical problem.
Martin Milner never expected his wife to have cancer. He and his wife were busy trying to eke out an acceptable life when she was diagnosed. Martin knew nothing about cancer or what caused it or how to cure it. He expected a long life with the woman he loved. He and his wife had planned to move to a larger single family home, have four or five children, where they would enjoy family picnics, surprise birthday parties and “stay up late” Christmas parties. Martin and his wife thought the biggest problem they would have was not being able to save enough money for college for each of their children. Martin did not expect that his beloved wife would die before their first child had finished elementary school, and before he had a chance to understand cancer and certainly not before he had time to plan on a life without her. He had not planned on the life he was forced into, the life he was forced to accept.
Martin had a hard time at first. He had loved his wife so much, he wasn’t able to manage without her. The world didn’t seem right to him anymore. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to go on. He didn’t care about his life. But most importantly, he forgot he was a parent. He forgot that his daughter was hurting also. His little girl who loved her father, who needed him to help her through the hard time she was having was also hurting. She missed her mother. When Martin finally realized his little girl needed him, he cleaned himself up and became a father to his daughter. He drew close to his daughter, protected her, cared for her, and loved her dearly.
So a parent is someone who makes mistakes, but corrects them. A parent is someone who takes care of those who need them – the children. Martin Milner was a parent to his daughter, Kathryn.