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Face to Face
If you have ever experienced, or have known someone that has experienced a death of a parent, then you understand the pain their loved ones go through. The death of my father took a toll on my family, and especially me, his little girl.
It was a normal day, the sun beaming its spectacular rays down on us. My mother had already gone to work. She left me, and I was eleven, to care for my brother, and he was ten. We decided to go to our favorite place to spend days like these: the public pool. I had it all; loving parents, great friends, and not a worry in the world (except to clean my room, so my mother wouldn’t go ballistic). But that would be the last time anything in our lives would be normal. It all changed when my phone rang, the individual on the other end informing me that our day would quickly come to an end.
Being the observant pre-teen that I was, I notice that my mother’s car was in our driveway; along with a car that belongs to a woman my dad is friends with. The woman pulls into her driveway, and we all get out of the car. Normally my brother and I say our “thank you’s” and head home by ourselves, but this time the woman comes with us, which was out of the ordinary. As we approach our door, I had this feeling that something was not right. Walking inside, I notice my mother and my father’s friends sitting on our couch, holding each other’s hands. They look to have been crying, but I couldn’t tell from a distant.
My mother stood, stating to us that we needed to talk. I walked down the hallway, which seems to take longer then usual. I knew something was wrong. I just wasnt prepared for what I was about to hear. My mother told me that something had happened to someone close to us.
‘Is it grandma?” I asked. She replied with a no, took a long, deep breath and said, “It is your dad.”
Tears rush to my eyes. It was impossible; I just saw him yesterday. I replayed the day in my head: It was my dad’s birthday and we had been with him all weekend. I had made him a card, green construction paper with a cut out in the middle of a birthday cake. My brother had molded a clay green heart that had “I love you dad” carved in the center. We had been with him for the whole weekend, and my mother was insistent that we come home. That did not make me very happy, but I was eleven, and had no say in anything. Later that day my father took us home, and as we arrived I told him I loved him, and, “I promise I will call you tonight.” But I never did. I hadn’t known then but that was the last time I would see or talk to my father.
My mother interrupted this flashback, “Daddy was hurt, and he will not be coming back.”
“But why?” I said, weeping through each word.
She then explains to me that my father had been sick, that he needed help and he didn’t try and search for it. She said he never tried to talk to her, his wife, though separated for several years now. She told me that he used alcohol to escape from his problems. I knew firsthand about this, but I didn’t tell her that. Memories of the nights where I would be fast asleep, but then woken up abruptly by my father stumbling into walls and so forth.
My mother continued to tell me that because of his problems, he could find no other alternative than to leave, to find a better place, somewhere he could be at peace with himself.
Was I not good enough for my dad? Did he hurt himself because I failed to call him? What about me? Didn’t he think about his little girl before he took his life? These are the questions that went through my head for the next few months. I couldn’t grasp the idea that my father had been unstable. I was his little girl, and I didn’t want to believe my dearest daddy had uncontrollable problems
I struggled for the next few years, trying to forgive my father for leaving me and my brother. I struggled to forgive him for leaving my mother to raise two children by herself. Most of all, I struggled to forgive him for missing out on all the spectacular moments and events that were ahead of me. I planned on him being here for my graduation, I planned on him being here to walk me down the aisle at my wedding, and I planned on him being a grandfather to my children.
The year following my father’s death, my mother decided that she wanted my brother and I to have a fatherly figure in our lives, which was going to be my uncle, who lived in Arizona. The summer after sixth grade, we began to pack for our move. It was the second move I had done in eleven years, and by far the first biggest one. My mother, family and friends did most of the packing, though I tried to help with some.
The day finally came. I walked out of my home, turned around and just stood there. I stare at the red bricks that cover the house. Flowers my mother took time to plant, parallel to the walkway, all different shades and types. I stare at the chipped blue paint located around the door and windows, remembering that one Halloween night when two boys thought it would be hilarious to egg our home(my mother didn’t think that incident was amusing.) I look at the “Welcome to our Home” sign located below the house number, flashbacks of the summers where I would be relieved to escape from the sun’s rays. The memories of this house begin to inundate as I look, one last time.