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Father - John B This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     My father is my hero and has always filledmy life with joy and compassion. I admire him so much, especiallybecause he has worked so hard to be where he is today.

My fatherdidn't have a typical childhood, he started working at the age of11 to help his parents pay the bills. He graduated from eighth grade,but unfortunately couldn't complete high school and instead wentfrom job to job.

As my father matured, he began a long careerwith a school district. Currently he is an assistant foreman at a highschool. Even though he may not have gotten where he wanted to be, it isa job he knows he can rely on to take care of hisfamily.

Although my father may not have the best job, he is happywith what he does, I hope, and I am happy for him. He has been through alot, especially during the past three years. He had two heart attacks in1992, when I was four. Then he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphomain 1996. That year, my father had to go through radiation. He remainedin remission for less than a year, and then had to have radiation again.He was cancer free for six years before it once again returned.

In 2003, when I was in eighth grade, my father also had to havea stent put in his heart. During this procedure the doctor accidentallyinjured an artery, causing him to be rushed into emergency open-heartsurgery. The doctor said Dad had a 50-50 chance but everything went welland on Valentine's Day he had a quadruple bypass.

While myfather was in recovery, I participated in a free-throw contest sponsoredby the Knights of Columbus, an organization that gives scholarships tokids to attend high school. Well, I ended up winning and went on to thestate finals where I competed with the best from around the state.

My father made a decision that I would never have thoughtpossible. Less than a week after his procedure, he came to see me playfor the championship. There he stood in the crowds with a pillow on hischest and a smile you could never imagine. He was the motivation insideof me that made me work as hard as I could. That night Iwon the state championship, by one shot.

As I look back to thatday, I wonder how lucky I am to have a father who is motivated to dothings even though there may be enormous obstacles in hisway.

Today my father is living strong. He will always be by myside as my motivation. He also has a lot of faith, attending churchevery Sunday, giving thanks for all he has and being grateful to liveanother day. He gives so much to make my mom and me happy. He paid formy elementary and high school tuition as well as buying me a new truck.What a great person he is. Nothing can ever replace a man who iswell-rounded, funny, and serious. Today he says I am his motivation. Helooks forward to seeing me play basketball and baseball just like heonce loved to play.

I'm pretty sure he does not know howmuch impact he has had on my life. I know deep in my heart he has taughtme important virtues: live life and have a good time but keep your headstraight, and stay on top of your goals.

Finally, he alwaysreminds me that no matter where I go, I should never forget where I camefrom. It does not matter whether you are the hero in the game making thewinning shot, the hero is the one who takes care of his or herresponsibilities without making excuses. It is the little things in lifethat make a person's day, like having a positive attitude, makingthe right choices, and being a loving husband and father. That is thehero of my life; do you have one in yours?

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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