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The dive

Have you ever taken a dive? Have you ever gone so far deep you feel like you cannot breathe and the walls are closing in? If so, you will know what I am talking about.

I am not talking about physically jumping of a diving board. My name is Cheyenne and my dive is letting go and moving on. My dad died when I was nine. It hit me hard because I was daddy’s little girl. We were always riding bikes and doing sports. When he died, it felt like a joke I thought he was not dead and he could walk in the door and take us home. We lived with my uncle because he promised my dad he would take care of us if anything were to happen.

I felt like his death was a joke until a year after he died. It was November 10 2006 exactly a year after his death this was my first dive. I went to a park my dad and I always went. My Mom took me, I needed the support I sat and watched as all the little boys and girls got to play with there daddy’s. On our way home I asked why did my daddy get taken away, did I do something wrong?
When we got home I sat in my room a little angry, I got and idea so I grabbed my journal and pencil. I ran to my uncle and asked, “Where would my dad go if he was sad or angry? “outside” I said thanks and ran outside to the backyard. At first, I could not write I could not think. Then I remembered he use to tell me”life is like rolling mountains, you may clear one mountain but there are plenty more to come.

I realized this was one of my mountains but this was my Mount Everest and my dad was not coming home. I found my words to write to him I simply said “I love you forever and I will always be daddy’s little girl I wont stop riding bikes or stop watching Sunday night football. You will always be in my heart. Love you little girl” I asked my mom if I could have a balloon from his funeral and she gave me one and then it was off the balloon was on a mission to deliver the letter to my dad. That was my first dive.

My second dive came two weeks after when my cousin, my uncle, and I went to Folsom to bike ride me and my dad always went there so it was hard. At fist I did not want to but then I got on and had fun it felt great knowing that my dad would be proud that I was moving on. By now, you may think these are petty things but my hardest dive came the day we went back to the house to get our stuff packed. When we got there, I sat on the couch he once sat upon. I thought about that night when he got home it was normal we sat in the garage and I would play out front on my swing, but that night my sister shrieked, I ran in the garage seeing my dad rock back in his chair only the fridge and my frantic sister holding him up she told me to hold him up she would call 9-11 as a nine year old it was hard to hold up a 200 pound man up was kind of hard but I did it. I was screaming at him to stay awake but it was not good enough I thought it was all my fault that he died and he would have stayed alive if I kept him awake. Everyone told me there was nothing I could have done but I did not believe it. I went to bed that night and had a dream, I was with my dad he told me to keep my head up and stop thinking it was my fault because heaven was needing a hero. Someone like you I asked. He kissed me goodbye and left. I woke up realizing it really was not my fault.

As a Native American, you are taught to believe if someone dies, they still watch you as you grow. I felt like my dad walked with me and protecting me. He was my guardian my hero my……. best friend, my daddy. He helped me become the strong confident girl I am today. I took some big dives and if it was not for my mom and how close I was to her, I honestly do not think I would be here.

When you take a dive, you may be knocked down but you have to get back up and keep going and surround yourself with positive people who will support you through it all. No one is perfect you will have your moments of sorrow and depression but when you realize there is light at the end of the tunnel your invincible. A dive does not have to be literal it could be riding a roller coaster for the first time or skydiving or moving on from a loss.





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