If I told you four things about my dad, which would you suspect is false?
One: He once ate Thanksgiving dinner with Johnny Cash.
Two: He has partied with Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Joni Mitchell, Barry Manilow and Rickie Lee Jones while working on their international tours as a sound technician.
Three: He has a photographic memory and can recall almost every detail from the historical books and news articles he reads voraciously.
Four: He now works as a truck driver hauling freight across the country, sleeping in his truck each night, and taking showers at the cleanest rest areas he can find.
The truth is that none of these facts about my dad are false. My dad has led an interesting life, which – at one time – was full of celebrities and excitement. But now, he drives a truck for a living. This used to embarrass me so badly that I hesitated to tell people his job. There’s an unfortunate stigma that truck drivers are hicks. That’s nothing like my dad.
Even though my dad never graduated from college, he is one of the smartest people I know. He is extremely well-read, educating himself on politics and current events. He’s also mentally and emotionally strong, supporting his family no matter what life throws his way.
I’m 31 and recently married. I’m starting to think about beginning a family of my own, but my husband and I have credit card debt and school loans to pay off first. I can finally understand a sliver of what my dad has gone through to keep food on the table for my family. Even though he often traveled when I was a child, I never wanted for anything, thanks to his hard work and perseverance.
You might call me a Daddy’s Girl, but I’m really not. In fact, I actually have a closer bond with my mom. She’s the one I’ll call with my latest gossip or to shed tears. I truly love, appreciate and respect both of my parents, and my respect for my dad has only grown since he took a job as a truck driver. He needed the work, so he studied for a Commercial Driver’s License and made it happen. To me, that shows courage and fortitude.
My dad’s a few years from retiring. He still has places to go and battlegrounds to see along the way. It’s true: taking detours to visit Civil War battlefields is one of his favorite pastimes while navigating his truck across country roads.
Yes, he’s a truck driver, but more importantly, he’s my dad. He’s the best male role model I know, and I’m finally not ashamed to tell the world.