Instagram post by @elizabethwarrenma Elizabeth Warren

From the time I was in second grade, I wanted to be a teacher. But our family was a paycheck-to-paycheck family. By the time I was a senior in high school, we didn’t have the money for a college application, much less the money to send me off to school. I was sixteen, angry and miserable.

After one especially bitter battle with my mother, I threw some clothes in a bag and ran out of the house. Hours later, Daddy found me on a bench at the bus station downtown. He sat down beside me, and asked if I remembered the time after his heart attack.

I remembered. I’d been 12 years old, and I’d seen how fast a family could be turned upside down.

Daddy said it was the worst time in his life. "Your mother was at home when they took the station wagon,” he said in a low voice. “And then they said they were going to take the house. She cried every night.” Sitting there on the bench in the bus station, he told me that he had failed and that the shame had nearly killed him. He wanted to die.

What happened? I asked.

Daddy sat silently for a long time. Finally, he took my hand in both of his and held it tightly.

It got better, he said. Your mother found work. We made some payments. After a while, I went back to work. We had less money, but it was enough to get by. We got caught up on the mortgage. You seemed to do okay.

Finally he turned and looked at me. “Life gets better, punkin.” And he was right. Daddy and I headed home. It was a winding path, but I eventually made it through college and started teaching school. And once one door opened, so did another and another. Life got better.

I’ve carried that story in my pocket for decades. It was how I made it through the painful parts. Divorce. Disappointments. Deaths. When things get tough, I still hear my daddy’s voice, telling me to hang on. It’s a part of him that will always be with me.

Happy Father’s Day to all the daddies who are trying their hardest. Happy Father’s Day to every daddy who sets the example every day of what it means to care for the people you love. Happy Father’s Day to every daddy who tells a child, “Life gets better, punkin.”

1013 Comments

  • 7w ago jhb_esq jhb_esq

    Poor Liz couldn't afford school so she posed as a Navajo and learned to hunt buffalo and beaver.

  • 7w ago emperor.william emperor.william

    #shiva4senate

  • 7w ago bekindtothyself bekindtothyself

    You are awesome! Truly awesome!

  • 7w ago pesull pesull

    Dumb men hate her, wise men love her

  • 7w ago amandasprad amandasprad

    Wow. That is amazing

  • 7w ago _mallori _mallori

    YOU MAKE ME PROUD TO BE IN OKLAHOMA CITY. If somebody as amazing as you can come from here, maybe the rest of us aren't so doomed after all.

  • 7w ago _je_suis_jess_ _je_suis_jess_

    ❤️

  • 7w ago diana.roig diana.roig

    ✨✨❤️✨✨

  • 6w ago barb.ratliff barb.ratliff

    How sweet and inspirational.....Thank you....so much...❤️🍀🌹🌺🌸💛💚💙💜❤️

  • 6w ago michaelascarie michaelascarie

    @lisaajacksonn

  • 5w ago observer.001 observer.001

    Inspiring father! No wonder you are so wonderful. You are so much like so many of us Americans!❤️❤️❤️

  • 5w ago w.zeller w.zeller

    And now you're lying to everyday Americans and stealing their money. Truly an amazing story❤️

  • 5w ago andreainstsgram andreainstsgram

    What a beautiful story 😍

  • 5w ago blonderoses23 blonderoses23

    Your dad sounds so much like mine it's uncanny. It's such a relief to have a woman like you in politics. One who has actually experienced the reality that so many politicians refuse to acknowledge or try to fix. Thank you for the hope. @elizabethwarrenma

  • 5w ago veronica1r veronica1r

    Ms. Warren this is a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it...I believe that everything in life happens for a reason, and I looked to your IG account today as I'm struggling with a lot of emotions today. It was meant for me to read your story and I will tell my son, "life gets better, pumpkin." Thank you!

  • 4w ago markthezar markthezar

    Is that your cousin Eli and uncle Peter ?

  • 4w ago indweedgr3 indweedgr3

    What a Great story ! Now tell the one about how the DNC helped Hilldahag destroy her pc's and cell phones with hammers 🤣🤣🔨 That's a great story ! And also why she in the woods 😁

  • 4w ago indweedgr3 indweedgr3

    #Trumptime 💪 You mad ?

  • 4w ago isaiahhc isaiahhc

    wow, beautiful story

  • 3w ago kaleigh_post kaleigh_post

    ❤️

  • 3w ago sexycappuccino sexycappuccino

    OMGhhh!!! I'm sharing this story with my daughter!! Such a beautiful and inspiring legacy he left and instilled within you!! 😘😘

  • 3w ago sexycappuccino sexycappuccino

    Shared on Facebook too!!

  • 3w ago daisie_v daisie_v

    This is incredibly inspiring. You are an inspiration to our nation.

  • 3w ago kalliepalm kalliepalm

    @ahoffman06 weeping.

  • 3w ago therobinoro therobinoro

    @izzy_oropeza

  • 2w ago qaztheone qaztheone

    You're a joke I hate you you're just a typical republican stooge working the system in your favor

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