I know the details are not exact, but I remembered what I could with being a selfish caught-up in my own world teenager most of this time.
A hero is someone who sacrifices what they want and need for the greater good. My father is a hero in this respect. Architecture was his first love, before he met my mom that is, and he studied long and hard to achieve his dream. He worked in San Francisco at a large firm for many years until four children blessed his life and the commute became too much for my mother. Looking for a position closer to home, he found instead a fantastic offer in the mid-west to design for a large fortune 500 company needing new facilities in several towns and cities. Moving his whole family across the country was a challenge, but once there the whole crew found a love for the area and the people. His job kept him busy, but home every evening to help with their growing family, now eight in size. After completing all the original building designs and a few others, the company decided to disband the architecture/drafting department and gave the entire area notice.
This was a blessing and a curse for my dad. Having seen the writing on the wall he had been putting out feelers looking for new opportunities, but my youngest sister had been very ill at the same time and in and out of the children’s hospital a few hours away. She was not improving and the hospital was at a lost for what to do next. My mother spent many weeks with her away from the family and it was a tough time on us all. The medical costs were large, but thank heaven my dad’s insurance covered it, or I think we would have been out on the street in no time.
The feelers paid off and my dad was interviewed and offered many positions around the country. One in particular he was very excited about, but we would need to move south and the family would be without insurance for the first few months of his employment. My sister did not improve, but a new doctor came to work at the hospital that was pioneering and new treatment for her condition. He told my parents it would take a few months to see improvement and many more visits and stays at the hospital for her.
My father had a problem, he needed medical insurance for my family but he needed a new job also. He swallowed his pride and went to HR at his current company. He sold himself as an office manager, that being the only position they was currently opened. He knew it was not what he wanted to do, but he needed the insurance and thought once she was better he could continue his job search. The company hired him as the office manager with a small cut in salary, but full continuation of benefits.
My sister was in and out of the hospital for the next few years, and my brother developed a brain tumor just as she recovered. My dad kept working as the office manager, but was able to chime in on building plans here and there with the outside firms the company contracted.
Following several surgeries my brother fully recovered, but my father continued in his current position. My family was ingrained in the community at this time and no one wanted to move away. He retired at 59 years old with 30 years’ service. He never enjoyed being the office manager, but he was missed as they had to hire 3 people to cover his position.
My father gave up his dream so my sister and brother would have the medical care they needed and our family could pay the bills. Having been retired for over 6 years now, he loves his free time and is in the process of designing a home for him and my mom. He is my hero!!!