Like the young Robert Lewis Stevenson was a disappointment to his family, my husband Frederick probably once felt himself a disappointment to his mother and father, too.
One of his high school teachers told him that he’d never amount to anything. He decided to drop out of school and enlist in the army. After serving in the war, he found a job in the purchasing department of a local company. In the evenings, he’d studied for the high school equivalency exam and passed.
His employers were so impressed with him, they encouraged him to go to Rutgers University for his B.A., offering to pay 80% of his tuition. By then, he had moved up in the company, promoted to Director of Purchasing.
He went on to earn his M.B.A at Fairleigh Dickinson, working full-time and going to school in the evenings. I still can recall watching him do his homework in front of the television. He’d be sprawled on the floor along with his books.
“If my teacher could only see me now,” he’d say, “What would she think?”
Sadly, my husband Fred died at the age of 50 from cigarette smoking. I still have the utmost respect for him and what he accomplished in his life. He pulled himself up by his own bootstraps and brought out the best in people.