Save Me From Myself

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“A dad is someone who holds you when you cry, scolds you when you break the rules, shines with pride when you succeed, and has faith in you even when you fail." My father has given me the greatest gift anyone could give another person; he believed in me. All the temper tantrums, tears, disappointments, and arguments have never even abated the love and faith that he has held in me. My dad has been my rock and my shining beacon. He’s been there for me since day one. He went from changing my diapers, to helping me ride a bike, to lifting me over puddles, to helping me apply for FAFSA. Thanks to his love, encouragement, and faith he will get to watch me graduate on June 5th.

It was not always a given that I would graduate from high school. As a freshman I was a just another stereotype. I hung out with the wrong crowd, cut school, and just really did not give a care about school in general. School was simply something I was forced to endure until I turned 18 and could do what I pleased. Needless to say things did not turn out so well for me. I ended up absence failing two classes, one of them being English, which was the only class I sort of enjoyed. Then, to my dismay, I was kicked out of Pre-AP English and would instead have to take regular English. Only summer school could get me back on track to be a sophomore next year. However, summer school was a place I refused to spend my summer incarcerated in.

In my world, school was not important. I refused to go to summer school and I would like to see my dad try to make me go. To put it mildly, I always knew my dad had a strong personality. I had seen countless arguments between my mom and him to prove that. But all my sister and I ever received where soft words and lot’s of tickling. My dad is not an angry man. He will almost always be seen with grin on his face and some ridiculous joke coming out of his mouth. He can always lighten up any mood with his humor. But on the rare occasion that he is angry- it’s a staggering change. His green eyes blaze, hot as meteors. His mouth, usually turned up into a goofy smile, sets into a cold, hard line. I find none of the warmth and happiness that usually radiates off his face. But this was never directed at me. How had I managed to stupidly wander into the line of fire? My dad didn’t have to yell at me or even ground me. Seeing the loss of his smile was like 30 days of night for me. Knowing I had disappointed my dad was the biggest punishment I could have received. It was like a metal weight tied to my being, dragging me down. It didn’t take long for me to enroll myself in summer school.

Every hot, summer day as I trudged in from summer school, my dad would glance up from his newspaper, smile at me, and ask me how my day went. If I had any questions or needed his help he would patiently listen, and as I tried to explain to him the concepts of figurative language, grammar, and sentence structure, I found myself answering my own questions. Sometimes we would just sit at the table and talk. He would explain to me how fortunate I was to be able to receive an education. “In Mexico”, he would tell me, “Kids have to pay the government to go to school. And most kids do not have the money. So instead of going to school, they work all day long to be able to support their families. So many people out there wish they had the same opportunities that you where born with." Those priceless talks with my dad after summer school helped me appreciate the opportunity that I had to go to school. They encouraged me to want to be a better person and go somewhere with my life. Thanks to my dad’s gentle patience and belief in me, I was completely caught up by the time my sophomore year rolled around. And to my delight I was informed that I could take Pre-AP English again my junior year.

I could write a whole novel about all the times my dad has believed in me and supported me. He believed in me when I could not believe in myself. He loved me even when I did not love the person that was reflected in the mirror. The greatest thing about my dad is that he has loved me unconditionally, even when I veer off the path intended for me. When I stumble into a an overgrown jungle and can’t find my way back, there he is beside me helping me cut through so that I can follow my path once again. He is my companion, my guidance, and for better words, my dad. The one who is always there for me, helping me, watching my back, picking me up when I fall, listening to my stories- even when I have told them countles of times. Loving me even when I’m stupid and understanding me without words. He will always be inside of my heart and I will forever carry with me his words of encouragement and advice. None of the birthday presents or Christmas presents can ever compare to the faith that my dad has held in me. Because of my dad, I will be the first person in my family to graduate from high school.





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Mrs. P said...
Jun. 19, 2011 at 6:49 pm
Delightful testimony to fathers.
 
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