This morning, I woke with a mild groan at the chill in the air that lured me to remain burrowed in my warm blankets. Eventually I became aware of a small presence under the blankets with me and another two warms weights holding my legs in place. The first was my daughter who had crawled in to bed with me sometime during the night. The other two were the black cats who also now call me mom. Just another Monday morning. But then, I realized, it wasn’t. My daughter didn’t have school because of a “holiday.” A holiday I’ve never taken.
On this Monday, of all Mondays I rise with a feeling of hope and purpose. For some it is a holiday, but I will be going in to work. It’s cold, and snow continues to fall while, I wipe inches of the fluffy wetness off my car, to safely drive my daughter to her public school for child-care, before I drive over slippery, snow packed roads to my full time engineering job in aerospace. I can only smile and ruminate how one man sharing a dream of unity near 50 years ago set the gears in motion that makes it possible for me to have an education that allows me to provide for myself and my child, normalizes the attendance of my child at a high performing integrated public school, supports my right to own and drive a safe vehicle freely on public roads and enter proudly through the front doors of a secure building to perform a job where my intellect and presence are both valued and appreciated. It is amazing and humbling to think what I can now do freely and with confidence due to the shared dream of one man and the many who paid the price with him to take the first steps to the realization of that dream. This day may be just another holiday for some, but for me it’s a day of hope, purpose and service.
In recognition of one man’s dream, on this Day of Service, I proudly choose to go to work in a non-traditional field and through my example, inspire the children of tomorrow to continue to dream, and to ultimately dream even bigger.