I Believe in my Hero, my father

Julie - struthers, Ohio
Entered on January 4, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

I’ve been very blessed to be raised in a loving family with two parents. My mother and father raised my siblings and me to be all that we can be. I have a great relationship with my mother, you could say we’re best friend, but, my father and I didn’t exactly have the best relationship. My father is the type of man who doesn’t express his feelings, and seemed to be uncomfortable with me around. He was raised with two younger brothers, and didn’t have any girls around when he was young. Growing up the Catholic Church played a big role in my life. In the years and years I attended church and went to Sunday classes, I was finally making my confirmation. In the Catholic Church, confirmation is the sacrament of being committed to the religion, beliefs, and being recognized as an adult. I was excited about it. The church I attended had a party for the young adults the day before our big day. A surprise was in store for all of us. Our parents, relatives, and friends had written letters to us. I expected to see the letters from my mom, grandparents, uncle and aunts, but, my father, never. I pulled out an envelope, which by the way was the longest letter I received, and it was from my father. As I read that letter tears built up in my eyes. For the first time, this letter made me really think about what was really important in life. I realized what an extraordinary influence my father has been to me through my life. He has taught me to be proud of who I am, to work hard, and most of all to be successful in everything I do.

When I look in myself in the mirror I don’t see a resemblance of my father. He’s tall, muscular, bald, and athletic. He avoids complicated situation. Intelligent conversations, and sometimes forgets he has a daughter. I am the exact opposite from my father. I’m short, chubby, and not at all athletic. I’d rather have a conversation with a stranger than with my own father. I occasionally forget that I have a father. Growing up my father coached my brother’s little league baseball teams. I sat on the bench watching my father with the boys a lot. I remember all the inspirational speeches and the encouragement he gave the other boys. I wanted him to be one of those boys in my father‘s eyes. As I grew older and found my place as a young lady, I grew further apart from my father. In the letter he states,” As hectic as my life is I forget to tell you how much I really appreciate and love you.” I began reflecting on the days I went camping with the boy scouts, and sitting on the bench at the baseball games. I realized that he was trying to make an effort to include me in his life, or he wouldn’t have taken me with him.

My father didn’t graduate from college and barely passed high school. Even though he wasn’t a well educated man, he worked hard to support his family. He also taught my brothers and me to work hard and to do are best at whatever we want to do. He would try to do the math problems and write essays, even if he didn’t understand the topic or formula. He never gave up on us, and worked on it until it was finished. I thought it didn’t mean much of anything at all, because he had to do it, until I read the next paragraph in the letter. In the letter he writes, “I’m very proud of you in school, work, and extracurricular activities. You try really hard and accomplish great things in and out of the classroom.” He really believes in me, and notices that I try hard to accomplish, and do great things. All I thought was when I would get a “B” in a class; he would tell me to bring home a better grade. I would be upset for days because I knew I worked hard for that “B”, and really all he wanted was for me to do better.

To be a successful person you don’t have to be a college graduate, or even finish high school. A successful person is one who tries and accomplishes great things in his or her lifetime. My father has been employed at the same job for over forty years. He works and manages a cemetery. It’s not easy work for what I’ve seen, and I know he works hard to have the place running well. He also works hard to support his family. Hard work and determination is something my father has taught me and I try to do every day.

This letter my father gave me was built with truth and genuine feelings that I never thought existed. You can see or realize that I wasn’t and I’m still not a daddy’s girl. I have my own opinions, thoughts and ambitions in life. Along the way I know that the letter he wrote will always be in my heart. I think about my father often, when I’m put into difficult situations. I think about what he would do and almost always take that road. As an adult I have to make big decisions, these decisions can change my life forever. When I decided that college was the key to my own success my father was backing me up 100 percent. I wasn’t worried about going to college; I was worried about letting my father become a part of my life. I see how my father smiles when I come home from class and tell him all the fun and interesting things I have learned. I see the expressions on his face and sometimes there’s a new one occasionally. Maybe he’s proud or realizes that I’m not a child anymore. I’ll never know, and he’ll never tell me. I realize now my journey has started as an adult. This journey includes many new sunrises and a new beginning with my father. I will be successful, work hard, and be proud of myself since those are the most important lessons my father has taught me. As the years have passed I have gotten closer with my father. He still doesn’t realize how I love to spend time with him, even if it’s unclogging the drain in the basement. I hope one day he realizes that he’s someone I look up to, not regret spending time with, love very much and most of all believe in.