Everything that a little girl wishes to have is to be happy with her family, to have that special bond with her dad and be “Daddy’s little girl/princess”. Being able to come home very excited and have family dinners, being able to go through the worst and the best together. At least that’s what I’ve always dreamed of but it has never been like that, but that’s my life not one single thing could be right.
Instead of being daddy’s little princess, I was all alone and felt empty. They say that parents love all their kids equally but I have never believed the thought of that. My mother always seemed to spend time with my brother instead of me. I grew up doing my homework without any help and being alone, not only in my room but in the entire house. My life had never been how every little girl wished it was, my parents had been separated when I was just 7 years old. I still remember when we had to leave the house because my parents decided to simply stop paying the house which I didn’t know why they would do that, or why they would make us suffer and having to be moving houses so quickly. My dad left the house and moved to another town and I lived with my mom and brother. When we had moved out of our home, my dad decided to move to Palatine. I never found out why he was so far away, at least that's what I thought because I had never been to Palatine or knew how far it is. I still don't know the truth about everything, it's just what people say but who knows who to believe anymore. I have family members including my mom that says that he left because he had someone else, but I don't know if that's a way for my mom to break me away from my dad or not. I’m still kind of scared to find out the whole truth about everything but even if I wanted to find out they wouldn’t tell me because I’m still a ‘little girl’.
Middle school came around and it was a big scary step for me because I didn't know anything about the school and had struggled with opening my locker. Also, I didn’t have any guidance from the person I love the most. That person was my dad, no matter what my dad has done, good or bad, he will still have the special spot in my heart. Maybe I should feel more attached to my mom because she has been with my brother and me 24/7 and it’s a mother/daughter bond. But in reality, I don't. I feel way more attached to my dad even though he isn’t around much. That year of sixth grade when I had still been adjusting to the school and the environment, we had this family gathering. This was before my mom even suspected that there had been the other woman.
It was during Christmas, we all had a fun memorable family gathering. I remember getting all the gifts I wanted and being so excited but was pretty tired because my parents had been raised to stay up until 12 A.M to open up the gifts and that’s how they raised us to do it. Getting a phone had been another part of my Christmas gift but I had to wait a few days because my dad wasn’t able to get a hold of it for Christmas Day. When my dad finally was able to get my phone he was going to come over to drop it off, he had been working that morning, the problem was that everything didn’t start off as a great that day. First of all my dad and his brother own a restaurant in Palatine, an accident had happened across the street and one of the guys in the car had to escape because he would’ve gotten in trouble since his past hadn’t quite been the best. He decided to go to the restaurant because he was close friends with my dad and uncle, but next door is a Mcdonalds and they snitched to the cops that the guy had gone into the restaurant. I kept on blowing up my dad’s phone with messages and calls, and he sent me a message that he was about to leave the restaurant. My dad had just taken off his apron when the cops came in and didn’t let anyone out until they checked everyone's identification except the ones who did have aprons on because I’m guessing they assumed that they had a good work permit to be in the restaurant.
That afternoon my dad never came home, it wasn’t unusual because my dad had done that to us in the past because work was busy and he would just come later or the next day. A few days had passed by and my mom got a phone call from my aunt, the sister of my dad. She was the one that told my mom that they were processing my dad to take him to jail, my mom immediately broke down crying. She yelled at me to go get my brother and to bring him to the room, I was freaking out because I didn’t know anything that was going on he came running to the room as fast as he could. We both sat down on the bed and I just couldn’t believe it when she told us and for the rest of the day I wanted to be alone crying in my bed.
Winter break was quickly over and the last place I wanted to be was in school, a place where I felt so alone and still felt so new like I didn’t know anything at all. I just remember how I suffered so much with the loss of my dad, he didn’t pass away but it sure did feel like it. I didn’t see my dad for a long time and I don’t remember how long it was but all I thought about was for me to do something unnecessary so I wouldn’t be living in this world anymore.
Counselors and teachers became very worried at school and had to contact my mom for help because they didn’t want something to happen to me and for them to have been able to stop me but didn’t. Shortly after, my dad found out about it and told me to stop thinking that way, that it wasn’t the solution and it's really hard but to not give up because soon we'll be together. My dad had been in a lot of correctional facilities and even one that was about 4 hours away, which meant that I couldn’t go as often. The first time I saw him I wasn’t even able to touch him, it was like the movies and tv shows that had a window between us and had to pick up the phone. I couldn’t stand seeing him in that yellow uniform, I broke down there and it made him sad because he hates it when I cry. I just couldn’t hold it in and all I wanted was just one of those huge tight hugs of his but I wasn’t able to. We tried to visit him the most we could and for it to not interfere with school days which made it hard, but when he was moved to the one about four hours away my brother still didn’t have his license and couldn’t drive on highways and my mom was really afraid because it was far. We would try and convince people to take us but they mostly turned us down. He was sentenced to five years, it felt like it was going to be the longest five years ever and they honestly were.
My sophomore year my mom and dad decided that I should go into counseling because I wasn’t okay, I wasn’t the old me that I had been up until sixth grade. Counselling came to an end and I had received a keychain of a piece of lego which I carry with the rest of my keys and will do so because it’s from my therapist who has now shaped who I am. Life started to turn around, I started to get close with the guy that is now my boyfriend and I was very happy. I even had a small birthday party, was really close with friends, and everything seemed fine. My dad was released last year in January and in February I went to Mexico to see him, It felt incredibly amazing and I would go over there again to just be with him in a heartbeat. But for now, I’m not able to do that anymore once again.
The first half of my summer I had to go to summer school because I failed U.S. History which already disgusting and the second half I was going to go to Mexico but my dad never said if I wanted to go and I didn't really want to ask. I just kind of hung out with friends and family and just had a relaxed summer, I have never been to downtown Chicago to the bean, yeah it’s crazy. I have lived my whole life here and I have never gone and this summer before school started I decided that I should finally go. I had a week all planned out but why have your life planned out if you don't know if you will live by that day, or if something won't come up? This summer is when my life went back to zero, maybe I had left everything to the end and wanted to crush everything together. The plan was for me to take ap classes to help me in team building to feel more confident in school, this was supposed to be the senior year and it had become the worst. I actually thought I could get a good start of the year but it seems like none of my high school years can start off good. All of a sudden my uncle started to get sick…
My uncle had health issues and would usually drink every weekend until his body seems like it couldn’t handle it anymore and ended up in the hospital. He couldn’t even walk himself and had to be in a wheelchair, one thing that everyone knows about my uncle is that he never wanted to be sitting around doing nothing. They needed help with the restaurant and my brother had to step up and help out. I was so tired and just want to go home and sleep because I'm a lazy person but my cousin wanted to go to the hospital to just see him for like 20 minutes. The thing is that I feel so ugly inside because I didn't want to go, I didn't think he was super sick and would rather be home doing nothing or being with friends, and truly they can wait.
I remember waiting for my dad to cross over here illegally and not getting a single call or knowing anything about him. I didn't even know he was going to cross until I overheard my family members and I was super scared, I keep on remembering how I was working that day, we were short on staff because of my cousin that didn’t want to go to work because her dad had recently passed away and I had completely understand. My dad girlfriend or however I'm not even sure what to call her she had to covered my cousin and it had been a slow day at work, I suddenly saw her talking on the phone and looking worried, taking out her credit card and saying the numbers. I instantly thought about my dad and knowing that he had been caught. I tried to think positive because I really didn’t want it to be true, she handed me the phone and I decided to go outside. He didn't even know what to say, he thought I already knew and just hearing those first couple words broke me instantly. I would grab myself from the wall and just wanted to go down to the ground and cry, it felt like I was stabbed in the heart all over again.
The thing is they had found out on Friday around 5 P.M but my cousin told me later on Saturday that she didn’t want to be the one that told me and I found it kind of frustrating because I was out getting my nails done and having fun when my dad was going through pain. I ended up staying for about three weeks in total at my cousin house because she wanted me to and I didn't really want to leave even though family from Utah and California had flown in to be with my aunt. I decided to try and help out and just being there for her would make me feel better. I remember having to go do some errands at the restaurant to drop off money or go get food, also going to a funeral home and feeling like it was still so fake; that this couldn’t be the real thing.
The day had come and I remember I had to get off my cousin's daughter and my cousin was with me, we walked in and just hearing my aunt cry would give me really bad goosebumps. A few people had been covering the coffin and I decided to just stay back, I couldn't go up there it was just to.. I don't know, words can't define what I was feeling... Throughout the day more and more people came it got to the point where it had been really full and who knows how many people showed up, my boyfriend walked through that door and it's not that I was happy because who would be happy in that situation but I didn't expect him to go because he hadn’t met my family yet besides my mom, brother, and cousin. He also had to go to work and ended up getting there late but just him being there for about 30 minutes made me feel a little bit better. I just know that my uncle was an incredible man and he did so many favors for people even if people had done him wrong he was a very sweet guy.
Who knows what will happen to my dad because until this day, to this second we still don’t know how long he will be sentenced losing my dad at eleven years old had been the worst thing that has happened in my life and now he is back there again, what am I supposed to do? Act like it doesn't hurt? That I'm perfectly fine? But I guess that life has to keep on moving even though I don't want it to, I just wish I had that ‘perfect’ family that everyone seems to have, having those special family nights and just talking/laughing. The thing is I'm not really religious but what I do think to myself is that maybe God is saying it's not my time to be having that family I have always wish to have, maybe after going off to college and having my career I can start up that family I have been waiting for since I was a little girl.
I think of my life as a crazy roller coaster with so many emotions of being sad, mad, happy, and exciting. There are nights where I miss my uncle and I just want to cry but how my book said: “crying doesn't make you feel better, it's just a different kind of miserable.” (pg 72) There are days where I kind of hate myself for not being at the hospital and would rather be with friends than with him, the time I had with him is all gone, everything he had done for me throughout my life is gone, everything of him is gone. Sometimes I even think to myself what if I had never pressured my dad, would he had not been caught for what he had done in the past? That maybe if I wasn’t so annoying we could’ve been happy right now? And instead of writing such a sad narrative I could’ve written about anything else? Sadly, we can’t go back and change things because life isn’t perfect and we don’t know what will happen when we do something. I know that happiness of a family that I want is just around the corner and I can’t wait until I can share that with my dad too.