Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Tribute to the Oldest Living Member of the Mulligan Clan ~ Dr. Thomas F. Mulligan

Eight amazing people call him Dad.  One exceptional woman calls him husband.   And for over fifty years the word has called him doctor.  I'm proud to call him Uncle Tom.  He's the oldest living practicing orthodontist in the United States — and he's celebrating his 80th birthday!

What does one do to repay an uncle who invited him to tour his office on a school day and sent him home with free braces?  If you're a nephew who believes all debts must be repaid, you try your best to pay him back.  That's like arm wrestling a gorilla.  He gave me a tooth paste commercial smile and wanted nothing in return except one small request to pay it forward and help others in their time of need.  Dr. Mulligan writes books and lectures all over the world.  And the best lesson he taught me was about the "multiplier affect."  He didn't have to use words.  Only actions.  And I believe the best example he demonstrates is in the love department.  He's only four years shy of celebrating 60 years of marriage.  He has twenty-two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. That's what happens when you love someone — it multiplies. 

Uncle Tom displays this message on his website:

I have a feeling my uncle has influenced more than a single scrawny grade school kid who showed up in his office one day with crooked teeth and a few pimples.  Thank you, Uncle Tom.  Happy 80th birthday.  God bless you.

your nephew, Michael


Lmg AZ said...

I always seem to lose my comments - I will try again.
Your Uncle sounds like an amazing man! I am sure he is proud of how you have paid it forward - your words are truly an inspiration to me.

Michael Mulligan said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Laura. Yes, he is one of those people capable of inspiring you to live your life to its fullest. My best childhood memories exist because my uncle cared enough to include us in his life. His children are also my heroes.

Michael Mulligan said...

Cousin Jo, I believe all of us in this generation of the Mulligan clan are a reflection of those icons who led by example. Your mother, for example, crossed those sacred blood lines to save our family home from foreclosure in our time of dire need. Aunt Helen and Uncle Harry mailed dad a Bible when he was separated from all of us and needed a spiritual lift. I could go on and on about all our amazing family and our most precious cousins. What a joy it is to be a part of such an amazing family. Thanks for being a light in this world, Jo. I love you!