The Power of a Daddy’s Hug

Carissa - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on March 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

I believe we have no greater resource, tool, and support system than our parents. I’m the first to admit I’m a daddy’s girl. I suppose some may find it strange that at the age of sixteen, I willingly touch my father in public. My entire life, I’ve known I was blessed to have such an amazing dad. My dad has helped me through all the struggles in my life—learning to tie my shoes, falling down, getting sick. While these things held intense horror to a three year old, it was not until my fifteenth birthday that my dad gave me hugs when I truly needed them. In the summer of 2006, my grandmothers died a week apart, and the following Christmas, I lost my grandfather. My dad helped me adjust to this grandparent-less life, and let me know I’d survive high school without any grandparents cheering me on. When I felt that all would be well, a car hit my mother as she walked across the street. The minute my dad told me, I burst into tears, even though I rarely saw my mother. Dad, being dad, gave me a hug and said “It’ll be okay sweetie, I love you.” Once more, Dad helped me adjust to life—no grandparents, and Mom in a nursing home. I saw Mom on occasion, and hung out with Dad on weekends. But six months later, heartbreak occurred yet again.

In August 2007, my Dad underwent a thallium stress test, and the doctor declared my Dad needed a heart catheter. Essentially, this consisted of the cardiologist sticking a camera up an artery, and looking at the heart. I wasn’t worried about this. After all, Dad’s are invincible, right? I walked anxiously towards my family, sitting with the cardiologist, just finished with the procedure. He told us my dad had two major blockages and one small one. This meant my dad needed a double bypass—possibly a triple bypass. My dad had been there for me my entire life, and now I might lose him? Tears trickled out of my eyes and rolled down my cheeks. The only thing that reassured me was the sight of my dad lying on a hospital bed; his hair looking like he’d just stuck his finger in an electrical socket, smiling at me.

A month later, I couldn’t concentrate on anything while my dad was in surgery. I realized that without my dad, I would be lost. In my short sixteen years, I’ve relied on him for everything—help with homework, questions about life, and a shoulder to cry on. Needless to say, when he was out of surgery, I held his hand for days. Dads aren’t invincible—but medicine has certainly helped to keep them around for a while. I’m proud to say that my dad is still around, growling, laughing, smiling, and still giving me hugs whenever I need one. We need our parents, no matter how old we are. This I believe.