Noted physicist Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” I choose the latter.
My mother and father met working in the West Texas fields as young migrant workers. I look back on the days when I was a small boy and played in the field next to the lot where my father and uncles built the small two-bedroom home I grew up in with my seven brothers and sisters. We had no hot running water the entire time I lived at home, no telephone until I was a sophomore in high school.
My mother would wake me before dawn so I could eat scrambled eggs and tortillas with my father before he left for work. As we ate breakfast, she would prepare a modest lunch of beans and tortillas and place them in a brown paper lunch sack. I can still picture my father walking down the street to catch a ride to a construction site - and me running outside and waving goodbye.
Several years ago when I worked in the White House, my mother came to visit me in Washington. We toured the monuments and visited the museums like other tourists, but I also took her into the Oval Office to see the President. It was important to me to do this for her – this reserved, little woman who once picked crops under the searing Texas sun. I wanted to show her what I had accomplished because of her sacrifices and those of my father.
At dawn on the last day of her visit, she was up to make breakfast for me, just as she had done every morning for my father before he left for work. Only I was not going to a construction site wearing a hard hat.
I had my suit on and I was reporting to work at the White House to advise the President of the United States. Think of the wonder that must have filled her heart. She never dreamed of this miracle, that I would take her from the cotton fields to the Oval Office.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, let us celebrate our culture and honor our country that has given us all so many miracles.
Alberto R. Gonzales is the former United States Attorney General and the former Counsel to President George W. Bush. He is currently a visiting professor at Texas Tech University and a regular columnist for Fox News Latino.