My Dad was my hero. He came to Michigan so his family could have a better life. He started his work in the fruit and vegetable fields in Michigan. When the season was over, he stayed and found a job in an auto plant.
Dad and Mom raised us all to be a close, Christian family. Each Sunday, we woke up early, dressed and attended Mass. We prayed together. Afterwards, we came home and mom always made us a nice Sunday breakfast. We spent the entire day relaxing, talking, and just being together.
Dad believed in education for all of his children. He guided us to complete our education so we would have good careers in our adult lives. He asked we speak English at school and at home. He said we should not have an accent. Americans view accents negatively so we did not want to start our lives with this strike against us. We listened and followed our Dad´s suggestions. We all learned to speak English flawlessly.
Through the week, we went to school while Dad worked three jobs to support us. One of his jobs was being a house painter. He worked for the Church part time in order to help offset our tuition at Catholic school.
Each night, after I finished my homework, I dreamed of my future career. I wanted to be “That Girl.” I believed my Dad when he taught us that in spite of any discrimination we may encounter we could each achieve the American Dream.