Jake O'Hare was convinced his wife would have a son. He even had a name picked out - John William Grady O'Hare. The idea that she might have a daughter hadn't even entered his mind, though he knew that his wife liked flower names. He and his friends all laughed at the idea that Jake would get a daughter - "Sooner vote Democrat," they said.
Jake's wife died giving birth to a baby girl, Tulip.
His confusion was profound. He had planned to raise a family with a son, and now he was the single father of a baby girl. He was afraid to even hold her in the hospital. But he soon came to the conclusion that just because she was a girl didn't mean he couldn't raise her the way he wanted to.
As soon as he was able, Jake taught his daughter about guns. He took her shooting in the woods, and made her into a sharp shot. He taught her about patriotism and love of country and the nobility of service. He taught her to stand up for herself and for what was right.
When she reached school age, he found himself on the side of the feminists, something that no one would have ever predicted. He fought for Tulip to get a place on the school baseball team, putting forth that her being a girl didn't change the fact that she could out-play any other boy on the team.
For Tulip, he was the model of a good man, and would set a standard that only one other man in her life would ever reach.
She was heartbroken when Jake O'Hare was killed in a hunting accident, shot in the head by a hunter who thought he'd seen a deer.