This I Believe

Arlene - Belleville, New Jersey
Entered on January 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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“Fathers Know Best”

He watches Jeopardy with me and always answers the questions before I even have a clue. He can pick my voice out of a chorus of over ninety people. He has shown me that I should always be treated with respect. His arms are the safe spot I can always turn to. He never thinks less of me when I make bad choices, but rather forgives and helps me move forward. He is constantly pushing me farther in life, giving me the determination I sometimes lack. He does everything in his power to give me the life he never had. He is my father and for him, I am eternally grateful.

About a year ago, my father suffered the loss of his only son. It was a devastating time for my whole family. I had never seen my father break down the way he did. It was the first time I had ever seen him cry. At one glance one could see that he felt lost, afraid, and I couldn’t find anything within me to comfort him. I had never lost a relative close to me and the shock my father and I faced seemed to be unbearable. At times, however, I felt that I shouldn’t be crying. After all, I had not known my half brother that well. I had never shared my birthdays with him, he had never seen me in my school plays, and he hadn’t even known my favorite color.

Many of my tears had been for my father and the son whom could never return and for the brother I never knew. I was angry. Angry, because my brother had been taken away without warning or mercy. Angry, because my father is the most caring, loving and remarkable man I know. Why did he deserve to be hurt? Why did he deserve to have his heart completely shattered into pieces?

As I laid crying in my bed, praying for God to restore my faith in Him again, my father walked into my room. He put his arms around me, trying to comfort my teary eyes. I had thought, “Shouldn’t I be the one comforting you?” He countered my thoughts by saying this: “If ever you are hurting, upset, or brokenhearted, I will always be here regardless of how I feel. You’re my daughter and I never want to see you hurt.” With that one gesture, I found even more respect and love for my father.

After the passing of my half brother, our lives were forever changed. I found a new respect for life and everything it encompassed. My father has taught, and continues to teach me many values, especially the importance of family. He has always loved me unselfishly. My father is my foundation and the good, constant thing in my life. It is often said that, “Mothers know best”, and I agree. However, maybe fathers know even better. This, I believe.