My father was a sheet metal worker and worked part-time at the gas station. His hands were never really clean, and in the winter they would crack and bleed from the chemicals in the metal. My mom worked in the school lunch room, cleaned for people, and did mending. Both of them were the children of immigrants and of the Depression. Neither finished high school. They worked really hard for very little. I grew up in that blue collar world with their dreams for me. Dreams that I would do better than they did in some way....maybe be a nurse, or a teacher, that I would at least be secure.
I have an advanced degree and earn my living doing something that brings me such joy that some days I can hardly believe that I get paid to do it. And as a priest I still regularly have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming....yep, even after a year plus......sometimes it's hard to imagine how I got here from there, how I even imagined there was a "here" from there. When I look back and see my small self....I am almost transfixed with the wonder of it all....and I can't help but believe that somehow there is a plan...a purpose....and say, "Oh thank you, thank you God, for all of it!"