As a parent, we make choices and sacrifices to ensure the best for our children. For me, this meant keeping a secret from my daughters about my job and the career I had. I didn’t want them to feel embarrassed or ashamed of me. So, instead of telling them the truth, I would give vague answers when they inquired about my work and quickly shift the subject.

To maintain the charade, I would shower in public facilities before going home from work. I didn’t want my daughters to suspect anything or ask questions. It was important to me that they could focus on their studies without worrying about the reality of my job.

Growing up, I had faced criticism and judgment because of the industry I worked in. I didn’t want my children to go through the same experience. I wanted them to have self-respect and a good reputation among their peers. That’s why I made the decision to keep my work hidden from them.

I carried a constant guilt and embarrassment for not achieving as much as others in life. But instead of spending money on myself, I dedicated it to my children’s education. Buying new clothes wasn’t a priority; investing in books to broaden their knowledge was. All I wanted in return was their utmost respect as their father.

There came a time when I ran out of money just a day before my daughter’s college application deadline. The weight of not being able to provide her with what she needed crushed me. Tears streamed down my face, and I felt utter despair. Our financial situation made it seem like nothing positive or extraordinary could ever happen to us.

But when my coworkers learned about my situation, they surprised me with their kindness. They gathered their day’s pay and offered it all to me. As much as I tried to refuse, they insisted that they wanted our children to have better opportunities than we did. It left me speechless and overwhelmed.

From that day on, I stopped showering in public restrooms after work. I went home in my work clothes, knowing that I was supported by a caring community.

Now, one of my children has already graduated, and she won’t let her father go back to work because of his age. Our eldest daughter is working hard, and our two other daughters are paying off their college fees. They have all made tremendous sacrifices for their education.

I still have the desire to work and contribute where I can. My daughter drives me to work every morning, and she brings us food during the day. It’s a beautiful gesture that highlights the love and compassion within our family.

When people ask her about her generosity, she humbly says that she is thankful for the sacrifices her siblings have made for her education. Her pride in her children shines bright, and she realizes that she can never consider herself a poor man because of their existence.

For me, my children are my greatest accomplishment. They are the best investment anyone can make in life.