Elizabeth Taylor died last month, she was 79 years old. Born in 1932, she was only two years older than my dad. Ms. Taylor’s life is being described with adjectives such as: legend, actress, icon, larger than life. Twice she was awarded with the industry’s highest achievement, the Oscar. She possessed a humanitarian’s heart and received recognition for her efforts with the AIDS community.
The headlines also made note of her personal life which went in a vastly different direction than her professional career. Sordid details of her turbulent love affairs read like a juicy romance novel. Even though she married eight times and had seven spouses, she died single. Her four children are half-siblings as they have three different fathers. Later in her life, she had numerous physical ailments which prevented her from acting.
In contrast, my dad has been working at the same wearisome job for over 50 years. Why? He’s traveled over a million miles, 100 miles at a time, in order to provide a modest house and food for his family. For nearly 47 years he’s been married to the same woman. He is the model definition of a true father, provider, example, friend, and disciplinarian to his four children. His grand-children adore him. For more than thirty years, he has given up worldly vices and turned his life over to the Lord.
Who led a more successful life? Ms. Taylor may have received the accolades and the opulent lifestyle. But my father’s life, without a doubt, has been more successful.