This I Believe

David - Hazel Park, Michigan
Entered on February 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, love, setbacks
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I believe in my father, a man who has done more for me than he will ever know.

Just over a year ago my uncle died. He was my father’s brother, my

Godfather. His death was unconventional; he still roamed around, with a goofy smile glued on his face, his wild hair shooting out in all directions, dancing around in his Napolean Dynamite-esque moon boots. In fact, I’m not completely sure what happened to him. It might have been living alone that caused him to mentally regress to childhood, or it might have been his overindulging spending habits that forced him to lose everything. Nevertheless, he soon because a walking corpse, a leech, and slowly became less and less of the uncle I knew and loved.

I remember the day I found out my uncle was ill; it felt like my whole family had been turned upside down. It was a cold day in December, right before Christmas. The cold seemed to find its way inside and cover our family in a blanket of numbing disbelief, with my uncle obliviously dancing about outside the covers. We all took his fall pretty hard, as if we should have magically seen the signs earlier and tried to stop outcome. My dad, however, seemed to take the situation the hardest. His eyes no longer sparkled a deep brown, hinting how strong he was, but changed to resemble a dark, glossy lake with a black bottom that I couldn’t make out. It was his eyes that made it harder for the rest of us to smile, the sadness emulating off them, and it was his eyes that made me believe.

When I looked into his eyes I understood one thing; love. The love my father had for his brother made him never give up on him. True, it was a sad love he felt now, a vague hurting memory of the love he once had, but my uncle was his family, his childhood and his memories. Those are things he couldn’t give up on, no matter how much it hurt to face them the way he did.

My parents support my uncle now, like a fourth child in our house. My uncle continues to be oblivious to the life he is living, or rather, the life is isn’t. He’s unaware of the love my parents, especially my father, have given him. It is because of this, unfaltering love that I believe in my father.

There is a saying, “home is where the heart is.” To me, home is wherever I can see my dad smile, my mom laugh and my two sisters ever-so-easily make fun of me. Home is never perfect, but I believe in people, in my father. I believe that even in the midst of something terrible, love can prevail and the power of people, if they try, can make it through anything.