This I Believe

Christina - Oak Forest, Illinois
Entered on March 19, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Promises Broken

I am a daddy’s girl. My mom used to tell me that I am too much like my dad and little did I know that was not a compliment. I didn’t get to see my dad very often because he moved to Alabama after the divorce. For six weeks every summer I went to visit him in Alabama and I never wanted to leave. My dad finally moved back to Illinois when I was in third grade and I was able to visit him every other weekend. I remember crying the day he came back because I was so happy.

My dad got remarried a few years later and I still went to visit him, even though I disliked my step-mom. One weekend my dad promised to take my step-mom, my sister, and me to Starved Rock. The morning of the trip my dad told us he wasn’t going to go. My daddy was going to stay home and play video games instead of joining his family at Starved Rock. I was very disappointed and upset. I was still fairly young when my dad broke his first promise, but it wasn’t going to be his last. As I got older I realized that my father was not the man I thought I was looking up to when I was a kid. My dad is not the brightest crayon in the box and he makes a lot of bad decisions. He promised me many things and I was devastated each time he broke a promise. I knew my dad would continually let me down, so I eventually didn’t expect anything from him.

I finally reached the age where my dad decided to tell me his life story. I was seventeen when he told me about his drug use, his suicide attempts, his debt, and his pain. I also began to see that my dad had an alcohol addiction. I knew the cycle of lies and broken promises would never end. That day was the first day my daddy broke down and cried to his oldest daughter. He didn’t think of me as his little girl anymore. He thought of me as his friend and his only family. He wanted me to promise him that I would help him overcome his bad habits and try to get his life back in order. I was only seventeen and did not know how to help him so I could not promise my dad this.

I believe that through my dad’s broken promises, I learned that promises mean much more than people think. Despite my dad’s behavior, I still love him for all that he is and all that he is not. He may be nothing close to a perfect dad, but he is my dad and always will be. Because of him, I believe I am a stronger, more mature woman, and I am still a daddy’s girl.