Fatherly Love This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   I was twelve years old. When my father came home that day he greeted me more warmly than usual. Then he spoke, "There is some good news and some bad news."

I thought, "Fabulous, there is some good news; his cough isn't going to be fatal."

I asked for the bad news first, knowing I didn't really have anything to worry about.

"The bad news is," he said, his voice beginning to quiver, "there is no good news." He continued on, "The doctor says I have two months left."

My mind screamed. As I watched my father's face begin to tear, I moved into his embrace, too numb to think.

I remember afterward sitting down against the wall, opposite the television. I began to think about what had just happened; I felt nausea wash over me. I was completely overwhelmed; my whole body was paralyzed; the shock was too great. I sat like this for a while, my eyes not blinking, my gaze not shifting, only my abdomen moving slowly up and down.

It is this shock that I remember best, and not the two months that followed as my father wasted away. It was at this moment, I realized later, that I gave my father up for dead, nine weeks before he expired. I think I was unable to deal with the pain of seeing him die slowly, so I shut him out. That is the way I am with everything; I cannot accept loss.

Later, I began to shut everyone out; I ignored or insulted anyone who cared about me. I didn't want to be close to people for fear of losing them. I even alienated my mother. I completely cut all love out of my life.

Strangely, however, when I look back at that time as a whole, I remember it as one of the happiest periods of my life. I was living gaily through my twelfth year of life while all love was dying around me. I think this is because love is a burden, so I was able to live my life burden-free. Love is a burden because you have to worry about those you care for, and take care of them. When you love someone you have to be cautious of what you say and what you do to prevent them from harm. If, however, you have no love, then you don't have to worry at all about what you say or do. Then it is possible to act without thinking, leaving your life stress-free.

This is how I responded to the news of my father's illness. The event took place in less than an hour and caused the most profound change in my life ... a change so significant I am still affected by it three years later. n


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






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback