This I Believe

Kate - Tempe, Arizona
Entered on April 7, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: parenthood

The Power to Believe in Others

“Hey Sugar, it’s Dad,” he said as though he never missed the most important years of his daughter’s life. “Hi,” was all I could say. That was the first time I had spoken to my dad in seven years. He called the day he was released from prison for what seemed like the one-hundredth time. His voice was aged and sounded like he never missed a puff on his Camel Lights.

My dad is, was, an alcoholic and a drug dependent, absent father. He spent most of his life in and out of prison and rehabilitation centers. Some of my more vivid memories of my father include driving hours to what looked like the end of the Earth. Crying and screaming the entire way, I begged my mom to turn around. I loved my dad and knew he would get better but I did not want to see him in his bright orange jump-suit. I did not want to have to sit on the cold steel chairs and watch the guards bring him out handcuffed from head to toe. I did not want to hear the clank of the jail cells opening and closing, or see him cry as we gently placed our hands on the cold glass trying to touch. “Hey Sugar,” he said with is long hair slicked back in a pony tail. “Hi Daddy. I know you will get better soon.” That was all I said looking into his tired face covered with pre-mature wrinkles. That was all I ever wanted to say and all I thought he needed to hear.

Throughout my 22 years my father and I wrote letters back and forth and kept a close relationship. He is my blood, my father, and someone who I love deeply. How could I ever stop believing that he would get better? How could I ever give up on him? That would be the easy thing to do, just forget about him, write him off, that’s what the rest of my family did. “Katie, why do you talk to him? He is a lost cause.” I heard that over and over again from my mom and my brothers and sisters. “No. He can get better. He will get better. He’s my dad and I believe in him,” I would yell back.

One year has passed since that first phone call. Finally, after a lifetime of drugs and alcohol my father is clean and sober and is apart of my life. “You saved me,” he says at the end of every phone call. “You gave me the courage I needed to get my life together.”

When I look back, I am amazed that my faith transformed this drug and alcohol addict into a mature, responsible man. There were struggles and obstacles, but the transformation came from faith. The faith that someone can change. Without faith, there can be no miracles. I believe in the power of faith. I believe in the power of believing in those you love.