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Father Clay G. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   One trait all heroes shareis the ability to endure hardship, and that is something my hero has definitelydone. Clay Gonzales, my father, has been through so much hardship in his 37years.

My father lived outside of Ojinaga, Mexico where there was nothingbut vast prairies and rocky mountains. Work was scarce, and money tight. Mygrandfather was a cotton farmer living on minimum wage and the family couldafford only necessities such as clothes and food. After a few years, my dad'sfamily moved here to Big Lake, Texas where my grandfather worked for a cottonfarmer. Occasionally, my dad and his siblings would help with the harvest to earnextra money, working from dawn until dusk in excessive heat and duststorms.

After high school, my father went to college, but he only stayed afew months because he did not feel comfortable in his surroundings.

"There was nothing at that college except for a bunch of junkies," hetold me. Without a college degree it was difficult for him to find a good job.When he married my mother, he became a trucker. We lived in a rented one-roomhouse until my little brother was born. Then we moved to a house my dad had beenbuilding since I was born. Construction took six years, and he did most of thework himself.

When we were behind on our bills, my father worked extrahours. He would come home at 2 a.m. and sleep four hours, but he nevercomplained. After years of working as a trucker, he was promoted to supervisor,which helped us financially.

When my grandfather died, I believe itwas my father's great strength that got our family through this time of grief,even though he was mourning too. He always gets us through difficulttimes.

My father is my hero. Throughout his life he has provided for hisfamily no matter what it took. He has certainly inspired me, and touched my life.Heroes can be found everywhere. All you have to do is look.




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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