I believe optimism is where I have to be. I’m eighteen years old, and through out my childhood, I’ve been places and seen things that no child should go through. My parents divorced when I was four. I was the typical daddy’s girl, because I was too young to realize his actions. It was my mother who had to drag him out of the car, just to get him inside. Although, as the years progressed my dad became a drug-addict and a drunk. He left my mother taking care of four children; with no child support what so ever.
I remember being in 2nd grade, my mom decided to move to Indianan, maybe to get a fresh start on things. I remember how she had to leave my two youngest brothers behind, at my aunts. It was just me, my older brother and the boyfriend who went with her. When we got to Indianan, I remember them not having enough money, so we had to sleep in our car. In the morning we would go to a gas station to change, brush our teeth; regular hygienic activities. After my mom’s boyfriend broke up with her a couple months later, it left it harder to take care of things. Since then I’ve lived in tents, homeless shelters, and motels. My father was nowhere to be found during all this. He was probably shooting up with one of his acquaintances.
Years later, I remember staying with my mom and youngest brother one weekend, since my two brothers and I were living with my grandparents. My father called, and told us that we were all going to go eat CiCi’s. Of course, we all got excited, because after all this is our dad. I watched that clock, with every minute passing by. My mom would try to reassure us that he was coming. By the end of the night we were all watching the clock and hearing my younger brother asking over and over again “When is dad gonna come?” The biggest disappointment isn’t your dad not supporting you. It’s him never showing up in the first place. I think it was that very night that I realized his abandonment to me. Not just me, my brothers too. So I would refuse to get my hopes up high, only because I didn’t want to be let down.
So where’s the optimism in all this? I would have to say my grandpa. He’s the father I never had. I wouldn’t have realized this if my dad didn’t abandon us. It was through my grandparents where I learned about family, love, and being dependent. He’s my hero. He’s my optimism. If I hadn’t gone through the trials that I went through, I wouldn’t appreciate a simple home. My house may not be the greatest, but its home, because I’m back with my mom, step dad, and my brothers. Optimism is where I have to be, to be happy, and to be who I am today.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.