Jim Flaherty stared at me with tears streaming down his face. It was five years ago and I had been asked to speak at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa to support a group that helped with African adoptions. Then when I looked up, Jim Flaherty was facing me with a tear-stained face. I was in shock. We often faced one another across the aisle and it was easy to see when he was mirthful or angry. But my favourite image of him will be of a dignified man, fully encompassed in emotion, who was yet capable of embracing another father -- a Liberal father, even -- and touching that human nerve in me that is the basis of all our compassion.