TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Fred Rogers And My Brother, Steve: 15 Treasured Moments From ‘I’m Proud Of You’

Since 2006, when “I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers” was first published, I’ve heard from hundreds of people, many of whom who tell me something to this effect.

“I know those letters and emails from Fred were written to you, but if feels like they were written to me, too.”

I met Fred through a newspaper assignment in 1995, and we became close friends. This Godly man tided me through a period of deep depression and anguish, then joined our family as my brother, Steve, battled lung cancer.

But to those readers I have always replied that Fred’s words were meant for them, too. I was just a middleman of sorts. “Your place in this life is unique, absolutely unique,” he wrote to me once. But he would have said that to any human being who crossed his path and meant it from the deepest place in his remarkable being.

It turns out that my brother had much to teach, much to share, too. What follows are some of my favorite words, moments from the book.


“Please know that I would never forsake you, that I will never be disappointed in you, that I would never stop loving you … Those who care about you are privileged to share your pain.” — Fred Rogers, Page 3

“Your wounded heart is a very beautiful heart. In fact, it has probably allowed you to understand the hearts of all others who are wounded. And whose isn’t, some way?” — Fred, Page 7

“Those of us with whom you have shared are all the richer because you’ve allowed us to walk in your inner garden. And what a glorious garden it is!?” —Fred, Page 7

“I hope someday you’ll know — deep down — how important it is for me to have such a trusting and trustworthy friend.” — Fred, Page10

“You are ministering to me. By listening, you minister to me.” — Fred, Page 20

“I will be proud of you. I am proud of you. I have been proud of you since first we met. I’m deeply touched that you would offer so much of yourself to me, and look forward to knowing all that you would care to share in the future. I wonder if you realize how special you really are!? Your place in this life is unique, absolutely unique.” — Fred, Page 41

“Please know how grateful I am for you. Real friendship works both ways. Your trust confirms my trustworthiness, your love, my loving.” — Fred, Page 43

“The more you can ‘hear’ your Dad’s pain, the more understanding and less resentful you are. If nobody was proud of him, how could he be proud of anybody—including himself and his son.” — Fred, Page 51

“There is so much good waiting to be found in this life.” — Fred, Page 62

“I’ve never been more scared in my life. But in some ways, I’ve never been more peaceful, either. It’s not about the cancer, but about the good I can make come out of it.” — My brother, Steve, shortly after his diagnosis with lung cancer. Page 91

“Jubilate Deo (Praise God.) Steve has already known what healing is all about. The best kind of all … We never know, do we? Every day is a gift to each one of us…no matter what our present prognosis happens to be … Steve is teaching us all now. — Fred, Page 93

“Steve, I really hope we get to meet in person someday,” Fred said.

“Yes, Fred, I do, too,” Steve replied. “But it looks like that will have to in heaven.”

Before they hung up, Fred asked Steve to pray for him. — A telephone conversation between Fred and Steve in the summer of 2000. Page114

“So, we’re all in this together. Let’s just teach. If we don’t teach, all this crap has been for naught. We can’t waste this because it sucks. It bites the big one. But if we all learn how to teach a little better … By God every minute of it has been worth it; every second of it. But if we don’t, then it will go for naught, and we can’t let that happen. Does everybody agree?” — Steve a few weeks before his death in 2000. Page 123

“As usual I went for my after dinner walk in the park near our apartment. It was near sunset and a gorgeous SteveSteveone it was. On my way back there was the most beautiful cloud formation illuminated by the last bit of setting sun. Tim, there are no adequate words for such beauty. At any rate, all I could think of saying was, ‘Thank you.’ So I did, and I prayed for you and your wonderful family gathered in such common purpose there in Iowa. It wasn’t long before something said to me, ‘Look up.’ Well, I did, and there in a completely clear patch of sky was the brightest new moon I had ever seen. It looked like a special apostrophe in the sky, and I thought, ‘Yep, it’s Steve’s for sure.’

“Just wanted you to know that you’re all in our hearts more than ever. IPOY, as always.” — Fred in an email written on the night of Steve’s death. Page 133

“Know that I am with you…Always.”—Fred, Page 45

One thought on “TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Fred Rogers And My Brother, Steve: 15 Treasured Moments From ‘I’m Proud Of You’”

  • Therese February 17, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing these inspiring reflections. Love the video.


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