My Biggest Fan This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   I remember it like it was yesterday: my dad in the standscheering louder than everyone else, and me on the field, playing my heart outjust for him. I used to try so hard to make him proud. You see, my dad taught meeverything I know about softball. It was something special we shared.

Iwould stand at the plate, bat in my hand and my heart pounding, wanting so badlyto hit a home run for him. The happiest times in my life were out there on thefield under those bright lights.

I remember, also, when my father gotsick. He could rarely make it to a game, but I still only played for him. Oneday, he felt strong enough to watch me. I did not know it, but that would be thelast time.

I think back to that day and wonder if I would have playeda little better or tried harder if I had known. My father once told me that thebest times in his life were watching me out on the field. He did not care if Ihit a home run or made every out, he was happy being able to watch his daughterplay.

My father died seven years ago. It was the hardest thing I've everovercome. At first, I never wanted to play again. I was mad that he could notcheer me on. I did not want to disappoint him, though, and something inside toldme he would have wanted me to continue. I cannot hear him cheering or see him inthe stands, but I know he is still watching me with a smile. I know I can counton him.

Getting back into the game helped me cope with my loss. So, Icontinue playing each game just for him. Whenever I'm on the field, I think of mydad and say, "Thank you." He is, and always will be, my biggest fan.

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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