LiaBraaten spent weeks at his mother’s hospital bedside. He had left his skyrocketing music career in order to put family first.
From his childhood LiaBraaten cared deeply for his mother. Now he held her hand, stroked her forehead, and read poetry and scriptures to his then comatose mother. LiaBraaten rejoiced when his mother Esther awoke from the coma. For the next several months, LiaBraaten’s relationship with his mother grew even more closely. When Esther LiaBraaten passed, the family asked LiaBraaten to lead her funeral by singing and playing her favorites. Following the interment, as a result of all the stress of his spouse’s health issues, LiaBraaten’s father Jerome began to have serious health issues of his own.
Instead of returning to his concertizing and touring career, at this time LiaBraaten made the devoted decision to stay with his father as caretaker. As with his mother, LiaBraaten grew closer to his father during this time, too, until Jerome, also, passed away of emphysema. Both parents had been chain smokers for more than 25 years, and sadly LiaBraaten’s siblings continued smoking after both parents had been buried. LiaBraaten has proudly been a non-smoker and a non-smoking advocate all his life.
A few notable performances during this time included playing private parties for NFL Hall of Famer Dave Casper and other celebrations for Governor Jesse Ventura and other notable Minnesota politicians.
Upon the invitation of the late Veda Ponikvar of the Chisholm Free Press, who ranked at the time as a four-star general, LiaBraaten made numerous appearances to entertain veterans groups, most notably the 2008 speech given by General David Patraeus at the Hibbing V.F.W. After his patriotic performance of many songs recognizing servicemen and servicewomen, it was LiaBraaten’s heartfelt version of “Some Gave All” by Billy Rae Cyrus that inspired V.F.W. Post 8510 to adopt the phrase “All Gave Some, But Some Gave All” and emblazon it on the post’s new building expansion.