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Father Robert P. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   An icy mist encloses me; the violent waves crash into the sand that blankets thebeach. I feel the chilled water rise above my chest as I dash through the roaringocean; my trembling hands clutch my surfboard. Abruptly, the undertow pulls myfeet from under me and I plummet into the sea. The waves deprive my lungs ofoxygen. I try to scream, but when I open my mouth, water rushes in. Finally, Ispring from my warm bed in a cold sweat and find myself in the comforting arms ofmy hero.

Raising three teenage daughters is quite a handful for twoparents, but for one, it sometimes seems a near-impossible challenge. Two yearsago my mother died, and my father became my sole parent and the only male in ourhome. He now devotes a great deal of time and energy to being the best dad for mysisters and me. Losing my mother has been extremely hard on my family, but thelove of my father has helped us cope and begin to go about our lives.

Mydad's alarm clock screeches, jolting him from his peaceful rest. It's 5:30 a.m.and time for another hectic day of soccer. He trudges down the stairs to akitchen exploding with the noise of my usual pre-game breakfast.

Theblender roars as I whip together a strawberry-banana smoothie. Beeping, thetoaster spits out two impeccably heated halves of whole-grain bread. As I searchfor jelly, butter and orange juice, I slam the refrigerator. Finally noticing himstanding there, I send him a cheerful "Good morning" and go about mybusiness. He smiles back, not angry about the commotion or getting up early formy soccer passion.

Performing this task weekend after weekend is only oneof his gifts to me. Once driving me all the way to the field, my hero isn't doneyet. The next item on the "Checklist for Dad" is to cheer me on. Somegames are so dull that most parents try to catch a little nap between halves, butnot my dad. Whether the ball is rocketing from foot to foot all over the field orbeing launched from goalie to goalie, he is always enthusiastic andsupportive.

Dad may not rescue children from burning buildings, but hecertainly stands up to the challenge of rescuing my family after cancer took mymom. He has not missed one play, one honors assembly, or a single soccer gamesince my mother passed away. When seen through my eyes, my father has the wordhero written all over him.




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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