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  • Writer's picturegarrison gibbons

Labor Day 2020

My grandmother was a cafeteria worker turned senior citizen center manager. She worked until she died — not because she had to, but because she wanted to. It was simply what she did and who she was.

Her husband, my grandfather, served in two wars. Upon returning, he worked for years as a carpet cleaner, eventually owning his business. He even owned a gas station too, for a while. Most of my life, he was retired — spending his days working outside or for my mother around the house. After my parent’s divorce, he drove me 5 hours back and forth between my dad’s house and my mom’s — not because he had to, but because he wanted to. It was simply what he did and who he was.

They both taught me the meaning of hard work and the importance of acts of service. They didn’t have jobs to write home about or brag about at parties, but they were happy, lived comfortably, and led successful lives.

I dedicate this #LaborDay2020 to them and their memory. They inspire me every day, and I hope, one day soon, their experience is possible for all Americans — regardless of education, race, or socioeconomic background.

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