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

   The smell of smoke reminds me of Dad. I remember being alittle girl and curling up in his lap to watch TV. Even now, I can smell thesmoke in his old gray sweater and dark beard. I recall him telling stories abouthis college years, his father and life in general.

The smell of smokemakes me think of love and comfort. We'd make his famous stew in the kitchen,spiced with that secret ingredient. Or watch reruns of "Hogan'sHeroes," laughing at Klink's stupidity. There was nowhere I'd ratherbe.

I remember my dad driving me to soccer practice when I was young,laughing while I danced around the field doing cartwheels instead of playing. AsI grew, he'd watch me ice-skate and bring me a flower after every performance.He'd tell me I was his favorite skater, even if I fell on my face. He would takeme to the park and play tennis, giving it 110 percent, even though he had no ideahow to play. I remember when I was 13, we had a heated match and he dove for theball, barely reaching it, and falling flat on his face. To this day, we arguewhether his shot was in or out, but we both know it was clearly out.

NowI'm in high school, and he practices field hockey in the front yard with me. Hecomes to all my games, even though he's been disabled for two years. I know it'shard on him; I can see the pain in his face, but he keeps on. "I'm fine,Kate, let's keep playing," he says. My dad is one of the strongest,smartest, funniest people in the world. He's a role model to me, a hero. I aspireto be a lot like him when I'm a parent. After all the years of grief I've givenhim, he takes it all with a smile and a laugh. I think he's the best dad anyonecould ever have.

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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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 10 at 10:42 am
i love this so much!
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