Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words – or maybe more.
University of Kentucky Head Basketball Coach John Calipari posted a photograph on Monday from the school’s “Blue-White” game that featured a soot-covered coal miner seated next to his son.
“My family’s American dream started in a Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this picture hits home,” wrote the coach. “From what I’ve been told, after his shift, he raced to be with his son & watch our team. Don’t know who this is, but I have tickets for him & his family at Rupp to be treated as VIPs!!”
Turns out the gentleman’s name is Michael McGuire, his son is named Easton – and Coach Calipari’s heartfelt message resonated all over the world.
“It was either go straight there or miss half the game to go home and take a shower and everything,” the father later reflected.
The photograph went viral, something that overwhelmed Mr. McGuire.
“When I got out and got service on my way home, it went crazy…I couldn’t believe that it was real.”
“It doesn’t matter to him how long he has worked or how hard his day is, he is always there and shows up for our babies,” Michael’s wife, Mollie, wrote. “He is the most selfless man ever and always puts his family first!”
There’s something incredibly heartwarming about seeing evidence of a hardworking father beside one of his main motivations for working so diligently and so long. It’s likely that a small part of McGuire would have preferred some time to himself – but he had promised his son they’d go to the game together. Good dads sacrifice their comfort and their desires for the sake of their children.
Working in a coal mine isn’t for the faint of heart. An explosion in a Turkey mine last week killed 41 workers and injured dozens more.
The reason the father – son photograph is being shared so much is because deep down inside we know that image is a snapshot of more than a sweet moment in time. It represents what America and the world need more of – hardworking men fulfilling their responsibilities and then spending time with their children. Fathers don’t just teach – they model goodness and virtue. They do what needs to be done.
Well done, Michael McGuire. Well done, Dad.