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A Strong Man This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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My memories are of a strong man, rough around the edges, but truly caring and loving inside. I can remember how smooth his dark brown hair was and the way it smelled when he hugged me. I remember him teaching me the right way to swing a bat or kick a ball. I can remember how he was the loudest parent in the stands when I hit a home run or scored the winning goal. I recall those family trips to New Hampshire and Disney World, and how my mother, brother, and I were kept awake, laughing, because he snored so loud.

I can remember how he looked on August 18, peaceful as though he was sleeping, but he was not snoring. His beautiful brown hair was in disarray, and its once comforting, familiar smell was overpowered by that pungent hospital smell. The sheets were pulled high and the lights were dimmed. My mother cried and clutched his hand. My brother clenched his fists, rubbed his eyes and hung his head in confusion. I was surrounded by family, but I felt completely alone. I felt all eyes were upon me, waiting for a reaction. I ran from the room as my world crashed down on me.

A million thoughts raced through my head. I kept waiting for someone to wake me up from this nightmare. But nobody came. My father was laid to rest four days later. He had died of a heart attack. Sometimes I think I see his face, or hear his voice in a crowd ... my heart skips a beat and I begin to head toward him. But it is never him. He was a strong man, my father, a bit rough around the edges, but loving inside.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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