I think that Marco Rubio will forgive me if I quote extensively from his testimonial to his late father.
I realize everyday, and today more than ever, that every opportunity I have had is the result of the selfless decisions he made, even before I was born.
We, his four children, were the purpose of his life. And our accomplishments were not just a source of natural parental pride, they were and are affirmation that he mattered. That his life had real purpose. That his sacrifices were not in vain.
My dad was proud of all of his children and grandchildren. And he would have been proud of me no matter what I chose to do. But I think what made him especially proud of the career I have chosen is because of how far it is from the one he had.
For years, my dad would work banquets at hotels. Many times, these events featured a well-known figure giving a speech. At these events, there are usually only two people standing behind a table. The speaker who is behind a podium, and a bartender behind the bar.
My dad was the one behind the bar. But he worked all his life so that his kids could make the symbolic journey from behind the bar to behind the podium. And in fact, I literally did.
That journey is a testament to the greatness of America. And that journey was the purpose of my father’s life.
Marco and his family have requested that well-wishers contribute to The League Against Cancer, in lieu of flowers.
My own father passed away almost two years ago. Like Mario Rubio, he was a bartender, for a time. My dad was smart, but he never finished high school; instead, he was a bartender, war veteran, union organizer, and railroad man. Most importantly, my dad was a good husband and father – and it was his burning, driving desire to see that his children made more of themselves and pursue the opportunities that he either never got, or passed up.
So I understand the Two Tables. And why we are blessed on near-infinite levels to live in a Good Place, where one may pass from being behind one to being behind the other.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.