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My dad

 

My dad is 80 years old and has taught me what no college could ever have. He taught me what having a family, raising children, working tirelessly and unconditional love was all about.

 

You see, my dad grew up very poor in memphis tenessee to a 15 year old mom. He had no siblings and his father didn't stick around to long. My grandmother being so young, had to turn to her mom (My great grandmother) to help raise my dad. So, once my great grandma decided to move, of course my grandma and dad had to go with. That move was to Saint Louis and rough manufacturing town with a lot of trouble for a onlychild young man such as my father was. Gangs and thugs would follow him home while living in downtown saint lousi and my grandma would scare them away with brooms and bats. Once old enough and tired of hanging out on the streets after dropping out of Jr High (8th grade), my dad joined the Marines at 16. He stayed in for 3 years and then returned to saint louis to start a familiy with my mom (and 3 sisters).

 

My dad worked for a 25 cents an hour at archer paper company in Saint Louis and then would come home eat say hello to us and head back out to his second job a cleaning company. After he gained enough experience he applied and got a job at General Motors and worked there for 27 years before he retired. He didn't make a whole lot of money but he made enough to move us to a 2 bedroom home in the suburbs so we could attend a good school and that paid off as 3 of the for children or a HS graduate mom and a 8th grade educated dad have all gotten Masters Degree's and all for finished at least 85% of a college degree. One, being me even played football in the Big10 (a feet that I attribute to my dad after spending so much time in the back yard palying catch with me between jobs in 90 degree heat). I owe everything to this man for who I am today and how I have raised my two college educated sons.

 

Today, my dad has congstive heart failure and doesn't move around so well but still all he thinks about is how he can continue to help his wife, kids, great grand kids etc in any way he can. Its not the prize you offer that intriques me but the mere recoginition he would get from me writing this that would be so gratifying. There is no way, I can ever pay him back but I can say how much he has taught me and how much I love him and if it wasn't for him, I could have quit life a long time ago but I know, my dad never did, so I never could !

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