Rachel. Leading from the front.

Sorority, College,


Dad: Don’t do it. Don’t join a Sorority.  I didn’t join a Sorority…I turned out O.K.

Daughter: Dad, you’re a hermit.

Dad: Honey, it’s all about drinking, parties, and trouble. Don’t do it.

Daughter: Dad, you don’t know what you are talking about.

Dad: Honey, I’m not going to tell you what to do. You are 19 now but I wish you wouldn’t do it.

Daughter: (Ceases conversation on topic.  Cuts yet another infuriating side deal with Mom.  Does it anyway.)

Dad to Mom: If Grades tank, Katy Bar the Door.  There will be a Day of Reckoning.

Kanigan Household: (Ignores Dad.  And life goes on.  King goes back and sits on his throne mumbling.)


Rachel is named President of her Sorority, Delta Delta Delta (aka Tri Delta).


Here’s the email she’s pecked out on her phone to her Mom and Dad late last night…

—– Message —–

From: Rachel Kanigan <@yahoo.com>
To: Mom <@yahoo.com>; Dad <davidkanigan@yahoo.com>
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 11:50 PM
Subject: Tri Delta St. Jude Children’s Hospital – Leadership weekend day 1


We had a segment at the end of our conference today called “meet the patients” and there were kids and their families who went or are going through treatment at st Jude right now.

There was the cutest little blonde boy named Ingram who’s 4, rocking his light green vineyard vine zip-up with so much energy just couldn’t sit still on stage. And he’s currently being treated.  They removed that was in his tumor in his brain but his cancer is really aggressive.

His dad was amazing and just so thankful for what we do and the millions we raise, it was just honestly so moving.

There was another 9 year old girl named Patience who has so much swag, she had osteosarcoma in one of her legs and had to have her femur replaced. Patience just learned to walk with one crutch last week, and she changes the color of the cane all the time, today it was a pink pattern to match her outfit.

Evan who’s 6 has relapsed twice and just recently had to get a bone marrow transplant on our Tridelt floor called the c clinic – he’s been fighting it for 3 years and only wears cowboy boots around the hospital so his mom wears them too now, it’s his thing so germs don’t get in through his feet (I guess that’s the easiest place to pick up germs from)

This is all before I’m visiting the hospital tomorrow – we get to see the Tridelt floor there, needless to say I’m so excited. It’s so humbling but we do raise the most money out of any fraternity or sorority in the country by a long shot. The statistics are just crazy!

Just thought I’d share – miss you both, Dad hope you’re feeling better!

Where’s the King?

He’s a sloppy mess.

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  1. It takes a benevolent King to bow to his peeps. And Rachel deserves that – what a marvelous, loving and life-infused message!!


  2. Daughter like Dad, no doubt!


  3. Good for Rachel.


  4. Beautiful….


  5. GO, RACHEL!!!!


  6. You must be so proud…p.s. I was a Tri-Delt too! 🙂


  7. 🙂


  8. David,

    Great story and very important point here about parenting.

    When time came for our eldest to choose a college, he chose wrong- passed on several much more elite schools to attend the state university. I sat down with him and explained all the reasons he should make the “right choice.” He listened respectfully, then said, “Dad, thank you but I’ve already considered each point you’ve made and I’ve made my choice.” I was beside myself at the thought that my son had made such a huge error but off he went.

    And today, after a stellar academic performance at college, he is on the verge of receiving his Ph.D. from probably the best program in his field in the country.

    What I came to understand, only after thinking and behaving like an idiot about all this for a while, was that the day that my 19 year old looked me in the eye and rejected my wisdom regarding his life choices was the day that I could imagine that I had succeeded as a parent. That’s our essential job. Gibran said it better.

    “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.” Kahil Gibran

    All best wishes to you, your family, and Rachel in flight.



  9. My two, oldest daughters have been very active in ADpi (Alpha Delta Pi) and it has all been good. Plant the seeds, water them and let them grow.


  10. David, I love the way you write and take us there with you… I’m the same kind of parent and I have an “almost” 19 year old in college. I do the same thing, worry, warn, and then just hope for the best. Your wonderful children are the most perfect reflection of you. You raised them right, that is for sure. Thanks for sharing this lovely little, yet huge, bit of life. I know what your heart’s feeling. 🙂


  11. WOW! Way to go Rachel!


  12. Leading from the front. Leading from the heart. Good for Rachel!


  13. She is a great kid just tell her to stay away from the Pike house.


    • Yes, the silence was deafening. Hadn’t heard from you on the blog for months. You were overdue for a unrelated comment coming from around the barn. I think its time to run a sequel to the Frank story. Chapter 2. How to Pass Credit Training 101.


  14. All you can do now is pray that no one says “I told you so.”

    Probably not one of your family members, maybe one of your Blog followers?

    I could have told you that.

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist)


    • Where are the Dads’ with the rallying cry of support? Where’s the Male bonding and camaraderie? Here I was expecting to be locking arms with the men to build a fire wall. Instead, all of men side with the Ladies and Moms to increase the heat intensity of the torch. And then the Pièce de résistance is (I’m going French now because maybe, just maybe my French comrades will come out in solidarity as the English have completely BAILED), and I repeat, the Pièce de résistance is…my stiff upper lip Brit friend lobs in – “I could have told you that.” As they say, with friends like this…


  15. Pretty awesome email! Soft side coming from mom indeed. Wow!


  16. Awesome when our fears dissipate in light of the wisdom spilling from the mouth of our babes. Dave, I completely hear you. Indeed another awesome Kannigan family moment. Thanks for sharing! I’m in the same boat w/ my college junior and brave, selfless Marine.


  17. Hi Joel. Thank you. It is awesome…it really is to see them leading the way. Good luck with your boat…


  18. Kids do grow up and do their own thing, but in small ways you may not even be aware of, you’ve had an influence (mostly positive, I gather) on how your kids turned out.


  19. David, I see your big, soft heart. Daughters do that to fathers, I think. 🙂 Congratulations, proud papa.


  20. You’re a very lucky guy, David. 🙂


  21. Michael Zahaby says:

    Very touching. As they say in the South “You Did Good”.


  22. Wow – your daughter is growing up and is making the right choices despite your advice to the contrary. Great parenting by Susan and you must feel like a proud papa 🙂

    Nice work Rachel !!!!!!!!!!!!!


  23. Raising Kids: You’re doing it right.


  24. Dave, thanks for sharing this inspiring story. Rachel is doing beyond any parent would expect from a 19 year old college girl away from home. Rachel is teaching us a great lesson. There is so much suffering around us and there is always an opportunity to make a difference in someones life. We can see Rachel surpassing her dad’s expectation. Why not, after all she is “Kanigan”. Your blogs are inspiring and I love the way you write and articulate.



  25. Alex Jones says:

    Have to admit this is one of the occasions you may be are glad to be proven wrong.


  26. The Email was so touchy that at first I thanked Allah for the healthy life that HE has blessed me with and I pray for all those who are suffering. Besides, parents are always cautious because they don’t want their children to get hurt in any way.


  27. What a difference Rachel is making for people. Her heart, compassion & leadership is so wonderful to see.


  28. petit4chocolatier says:

    Good for Rachel!!


  29. Good for her and good for you too, King. But, best of all, good for all of those children to have such a reliable, caring and accomplished support group composed of what sounds to be highly mature, responsible and dedicated sorority sisters lead by your daughter. You have too much to be proud of to worry about your Kingship…pass the crown around and be happy in knowing that there will be no drop off in good within the Kanigan Kingdom. 🙂

    Best wishes to you and yours and thank you and your wife for raising such a caring and responsible daughter who is doing what she can to make America stronger and healthier.


  30. Dave – what we try to do as parents is point them in the right direction. From that point on, its up to them. Sounds like she’s doing fine – definitely something to be proud of…


  31. Yeah David, the King isn’t the only one who is slobbering mess…Mom and you are doing a great job raising a very fine young woman…congrats to both of you…and don’t write back about it was all Mom’s DNA…you both deserve all the congrats you get…be encouraged!


  32. she sounds much like you in many ways. at times, our children show themselves to have surpassed us, even though we have been around a lot longer, and it surprises us, and humbles us and makes us so proud, and this is what we want for them. beautiful story david on many levels. what a wonderful daughter.


  33. Thank you for sharing your personal life, David. It feels good when they are excelling in their life. And it’s wonderful to know that they can share their life to their parents. You and Mom have raised her well. When will she graduate?


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