Greatest Challenge

Shannon - Altoona, Iowa
Entered on September 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Everyone has to face obstacles in their life and some are faced with greater challenges then others. I strongly believe the challenges I faced growing up have made me the person I am today. When I was ten years old I was faced with my greatest challenge. At the time I did not realize I would be affected and forever changed from what happened.

My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer when I was only four years old. While growing up I had only known him as a sick person. I often tagged along with him to various hospitals for checkups. I remember sitting in a plain white room with him while he would receive blood transfusions. At the time I enjoyed going with him; the nurses treated me to grape popsicles, and I got to spend time with him. Today I feel differently I will do whatever I can to stay out of hospitals. Every time I walk into one I have flashbacks of the night I can’t forget.

August 4, 2000, my dad went to the hospital for the last time. When my mom tried to explain that my Dad’s cancer had returned, I didn’t know that meant he wouldn’t come home. It never sunk in all the way. I thought he would be just fine. I had been to hospitals plenty of times with him, and it always turned out fine. It never crossed my mind I would lose my dad to cancer. That we would no longer be able to make pizzas together. That he would not be able to see me graduate from high school. That he would not walk me down the aisle on my wedding day. I could not imagine my life without him.

I believe we find out how strong we really are when we face life’s greatest challenges head on. When I lost my dad I had no choice but to grow up at a young age. My mom and I where left to start over without him. I was faced with things I think no child should ever face. Dealing with the death of my dad was very hard for me. Many of my questions where left unanswered and to this day a lot of them still are. Now that my dad is gone I try my best to hold onto the memories I have of him, knowing that I no longer have the chance to make more.