A Guardian Angel with the Same Name This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

August 10, 2011
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They say that in everyone’s life there is a figure from whom inspiration is drawn. I am no exception. When I am losing myself in situations I don’t believe I can handle, or if I don’t know how to go from one step to the next, I go directly to my father. I never hesitate to ask him a question or try to get him to tell me where to go next. I think I “talk” to him more than anyone else. My father works in ways that are different from most fathers. He never tells me exactly what I should do. He only gives me suggestions. He won’t look me in the eye when I do something wrong, then tell me not to do it ever again. You see, my father isn’t here anymore. He hasn’t been here for a long time – way too long, if you ask me. My father died two and a half weeks before I turned ten years old. Today, I am seventeen but it seems like I am thirty.

I don’t really remember much about him. You would think I’d have pretty clear-cut memories by age nine, but I don’t. It is difficult to think of things we did together, even though there were many. Nothing that he said sticks in my head, other than his exclamatory “Super!” and his big hugs and wet kisses. They seemed unimportant then, but nothing is more difficult to think about now. You don’t pay attention to what you have when you are nine; you just know it is there. When it does go away, you don’t know how to do without it. Today, it is getting easier and, at the same time, harder. I realize now what I am missing. From his absence, I must draw strength.

Not a day goes by that I don’t talk to him, saying “Hello” out loud and winking at his picture on the wall. He still is here in one way or another. Every once in a while, I hear him laugh at me or feel him smiling at me. I know sometimes he thinks I did well and sometimes he’s mad. The hard part is figuring out which way he wants me to go.

It is really hard trying to figure out all these signs, Dad! My greatest dream would be for you to come back so I could see you one last time. A lot has changed since you left. Everything around here is different. I sure could use help keeping this lawn looking nice. I don’t know how you used to do it.

If one good thing has come from this, it would be that I see things in a different light now. I can understand the pain others feel more than I would have. I am a more sensitive person; not a lot fazes me.

Plus, I have a guardian angel with the same last name as mine. I realize what a good person he was and how much I have to strive for. I need to live up to his high standard, which, believe me, is plenty high. Thank God, I have two good parents to lead me: one to keep me grounded and one who keeps my mind in the clouds.

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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