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Thank you, Father This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I’m really happy for my father. I’m not happy for him because he’s won any special award or pulled ten orphans from a burning building. I’m simply happy that he’s my father. And he’s happy too.

Some days when my mom was away, my dad and I would sit on the bed in his room. It was king-sized and there was an indent where he always sat facing the television. It was his cave, his den, his big comfy chair. If my father was anywhere in the house, it was in his room in that spot, watching the news. No matter what business he had to do, he worked from that seat.

I would sit next to him. We would watch the news. It was our father-daughter bonding time. Although I was the oldest of three, I was still his little girl, and I tried to keep it that way. As I grew up, our conversations matured. We drifted from the 2008 elections to my mother, which led us to religion. These topics proved that he and I were similar. I was not alone.

Why did I think I was alone? Well, although my mother never brought us to church, she always told us about God, Jesus, Moses, and any other biblical figure she could remember. She and her sister could find common ground when it came to faith. My brothers also believed. I did not.

It wasn’t always that way. I didn’t wake up one day and think, There is no God. Something like that isn’t decided over night. But over time, I found myself in a category without my mother. For once in my life, I was something she wouldn’t approve of. I was afraid of authority down to my very core (that hasn’t changed). As a result, I believed that telling my mother about our difference would be unwise.

As I sat and talked with my father about what we did and didn’t believe, he made me stronger. Soon, I realized I was ready to tell my mother.

When I think back to our conversation, I can taste the words that left my mouth until it was dry with anticipation. It went basically the way I had envisioned it would. Her face went from shocked to confused to stern. I saw it and I waited for her to speak. I could have written the words she would say before she said them – until she got to the phrase, “Then, I have failed.”

I never quite knew what she meant by that. I never asked or told her she was wrong. The two of us are all right; she’s repressed that conversation and we have moved on like nothing happened. Sometimes there’s a twinge inside me when I feel separate from my mother because of religion. But when I remember her disappointed words, they are soon soothed by time spent with my dad and the late-night news.

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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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Samantha M. said...
Aug. 5, 2009 at 11:49 pm
I really liked this. I can relate, if you replaced mom with grandmother. I'm also very close with my dad and he's the only one I can talk to about my lack of faith without feeling judged.
Kudos on your courage and writing!
 
MACDADDY said...
Jun. 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm
it was ok but u shall try tofimd a commom ground with ur mom cause she wount be there for long
 
Brandi K. said...
Jun. 4, 2009 at 3:30 pm
wow. umh. i dont know what to say. i can sort of relate. my father died. my mother is big into christianity though a hypacrite. til this day she says stuff like 'im praying for her' or 'god i working on her'.
 
Yesenia R. said...
May 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm
Wow. you seem to have a really close relationship with your dad. That's really good..i'm jelous.lol.. Great article! Love it.
 
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