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Linda & Richard Eyre: Ann and Mitt Romney doing great things for families

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 1 2015 3:14 p.m. MDT

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann. (Charles Dharapak, Associated Press) Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann. (Charles Dharapak, Associated Press)

It’s so good to know firsthand that Mitt and Ann Romney are alive and well. Better than well. Terrific!

As their friends for many years who were devastated by their election loss, we are delighted to know that life after politics for them is abundant and full of good causes, the most important of which, in our minds, is their unique way of championing the importance of strong families.

Last week, I (Linda) joined 200 women who packed the ballroom at the Salt Lake Country Club to hear from Ann Romney, who has written a stellar new cookbook called "The Romney Family Table."

The book is much more than a collection of wonderful recipes. It is complete with Ann’s stories and delightful pictures of the Romneys as they raised their five boys, and of the food that surrounded the fun traditions and important events in their lives. Her warm personality as a wife, mother and grandmother sparkles in her heartwarming stories.

Ann Romney, the wife of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, will debut on the New York Times best-seller list with her new book, Ann Romney, the wife of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, will debut on the New York Times best-seller list with her new book, "The Romney Family Table." (Deseret Book)

The book debuted on the New York Times best-seller list when it was released in October. All profits will be donated to the Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, which is doing highly successful research on neurologic diseases including multiple sclerosis, which Ann has.

The surprise guest at the luncheon was Mitt, who graciously introduced Ann with fun stories about their courtship and marriage, and the strength and determination Ann brought as she served the needs of inner city families in Boston while he was governor and she was first lady of Massachusetts. Their unique partnership and genuine admiration for each other through thick and thin were palpable.

During his remarks, Mitt divulged that of all the serious problems our country is facing right now, the most critical one is the disintegration of the American family — a thought with which, as you know, we profoundly agree.

After being treated to some of the fabulous food from recipes in the book, we heard from Ann, who told us that the best part of the creation of this book and the resulting nationwide media appearances was that she could talk about family and food traditions instead of politics.

Romney family members not only encouraged Ann on this book, but added their own favorite family recipes. She confided that Mitt actually assembled the equipment and tested the recipe for his family’s homemade ice cream.

One of the co-hostesses of the event, Carolyn Gardner, told us of a day many years ago when she and her husband, Kem, had just moved to Boston and Ann showed up at their front door to welcome them. She offered to take their three rowdy boys, along with the five rambunctious Romney boys, to Cape Cod for an overnight trip while Carolyn unpacked and got settled. That adventure is one that neither of them will ever forget.

Our other co-hostess, Jan Zwick, whose son Spencer has been working as the Romney’s right-hand man for 12 years since he was 21, told us what an incredible mentor Mitt had been.

Even though the result of the election wasn’t what they would have wished, Mitt and Ann have filled their lives with good things. A few weeks ago at a small dinner party, Ann told us that they had just returned from a humanitarian trip with several couples, each of whom had donated a large amount of money to go with them to help poor families in Peru. There, with their friends and some family members, Ann and Mitt saw firsthand the enormous good the donated money was doing to restore sight to individuals in the Third World whose family lives were changed forever when cataracts were removed and the blind were made to see.

Mitt and Ann have endorsed our books in the past, and we are so happy to endorse and recommend Ann’s book now. It raises people’s awareness of what is really important on the micro, family-to-family level instead of the macro political level.

Even though every woman in that packed room dearly wished that Mitt and Ann were in the White House in Washington, D.C., instead of the country club in Salt Lake City, we have to admit that the move from the world table to the family table is a pretty great place for them — and for all of us — to be.

Richard and Linda Eyre are New York Times best-selling authors who lecture throughout the world on family-related topics. Visit them anytime at EyresFreeBooks.com or valuesparenting.com.

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company