My dad spent his life as a blue collar worker, working six days a week with overtime to make ends meet. He liked to listen to the #Reds on the radio and enjoyed drinking #PabstBlueRibbon from a can, with a little salt on top to keep the foam down.
His uniform was plain, blue shirt and work pants, with a patch on the pocket, and his name, "Bob." He could fix anything at the local factory, #MiamiMargarine, where he worked. And better still, always seem to be able to fix anything that went wrong in my life too.
My chosen career path is a long way from the gravel road leading up to that old warehouse, now long gone and demolished. But the tread in his tires paved the way for me from the start, pushing me to embrace life and go after my dreams, instilling in me that anything was possible if I worked hard enough.
He taught me the importance of being who you say you are, the value of your word, and the capacity to love and equally important, to forgive. He also taught me how to use a power drill, fix an old fridge with a charge of freon, and so many other pearls of wisdom along the way.
I like to think those blue collar stitches are what made me who I am today. And that my own thinking is well grounded in the basics of what it means to work hard and stand proud.
Over the years, I held fast to those pearls of wisdom, smoothing over some of the rough edges. Those stitches reinforce every area of my life and began with a brilliant man. He could have done anything...been anyone...but thankfully, chose to be my dad and to share his passion for learning with me. And for as long as I live, I will achieve no greater success than the great privilege of having been his daughter. #payingitforward with my kids now.