This I Believe

chiemelie - alpharetta, Georgia
Entered on November 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

That Streak of Light

Six years ago, I was a blissful ten years old without a care in the world. Being the only girl, with two brothers, I must admit I might have been a little bit spoiled. My mom had the tendencies to go overboard sometimes- not that I minded much anyways. I can hardly say I knew my father. In fact, I think in a way I was terrified of him. I barely saw him, except for those dreadful occasions when I did something wrong and my mom ratted me out. She was soft enough that so she could never reprimand us kids, but certainly didn’t lack the common sense to know that we needed it. My father existed to me then mostly only as an authority figure, taking disciplinary action if, and when necessary.

Times have changed a lot since then. My mom battled lung cancer for about a year and eventually passed on, at the ripe young age of forty-two. It was devastating for all of us: my father, my brothers, myself, and the rest of those she left behind. It was probably hardest for my father, because he just couldn’t bear to show his grief with us present, and we were always present.

For the first time in my life, I experienced a kind of rebirth of another human being. How my father had changed from a semi-workaholic man, to an almost devoted housewife is beyond me, but I loved every minute of it! He went grocery shopping on his own and even managed to cook for us. More importantly, he made spending time with us kids a priority and helped us with our homework. He never missed another school function.

My relationship with my father has flourished and improved over the years. We’ve become close, in our own way, the best way he knows how. I often wonder how this prior strained relationship might have turned out, under different circumstances. What I do know is that I’m just fine with the way they are now. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my mom, or wish that that she could be here, to see how much I’ve grown. I’d like her to be a part of my life once more, so that we could go to the hair stylist together and get our hair done in colorful braids, the same way, just like old times. I miss mostly those little things, like the feel of her hands which I loved so much to hold, and just the way she always let me have the last word in any argument.

Nevertheless, I am thankful for the opportunity that I got to get to know the many different smiles and frowns, and all the intricately woven qualities that are the essence of my father. This man whom I have come to know and love dearly, not just because I’m obliged to, but because I want to, and it is what I’m happiest doing. I cherish the long walks we take around the neighborhood at dawn, and how comfortable I’ve become talking with him. I’ve come to understand him, in a way I think nobody else is capable of, and to see him as more than just a father figure, but also as a good friend.

So I believe that when a door closes, another opening of some sort swings wide. I believe that every disappointment has, no matter how minute it might seem at the time, a blessing in disguise. Still, it is up to us to see that blessing that is usually right in front of us, and to make the best of it. Consequently, whenever I have cause to be disappointed, rest assured, I’m constantly searching for that streak of light that is always, ever so gently, peeping through. And I consider my chance with my father to be my perfect portal.