My Dad This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   When I was a little girl, my dad used to say howmuch he loved me, and until the day I die, I will never forget those sweet words.Last March I lost something a child is not supposed to lose - a parent.

Mydad was in the Air Force Reserves and would go for training every other weekend.He left for the Reserves one Friday morning as usual, but that time he didn'tcome home.

I had an ordinary day at school; there were a few quarrels, butnothing much. What I didn't know was that my mother had received a devastatingphone call. I still remember her face as she was getting ready to tell me. Therewere tears running down her cheeks though she was trying her best to staytogether long enough to get the words out of her mouth.

After she told me,I don't think I was completely there. I just kept replaying those words over andover in my head. He couldn't be dead. He was my dad.

Almost 300 peopleattended my dad's funeral - 300 people had been touched by my dad. I will neverget the image of the funeral out of my mind. The only thing that keeps me goingnow is knowing my father loved me.

Dedicated to Carl Francis O., June 26, 1959 - March 10, 2000

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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