Remembering Yesterday

Sabrina - Van Nuys, California
Entered on December 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

It was a cold morning, like any other, but today was a special day. It my first day of preschool. I greeted the day like any other day without foreseeing its meaning in the years to come. I was nervous as my dad held my hand the whole time from the walk until we arrived at the intimidating steps that led into school. He turned to me and told me that everything was going to be okay; that I didn’t have to be scared because I am a good person and I would have a fun time and learn a lot of new things there. He said to be happy, and whenever I felt like I wanted to go home, to think of him being there with me, reassuring me that everything was and would be fine. As we walked up the steps, he gave me a kiss on my forehead and then let go of my hand. I felt really safe when he let go, as if he was still holding onto me.

I have always remembered that day like it was yesterday, because it is the only memory I have of him. He died of cancer shortly after that day. When he was diagnosed with cancer, he lived his life just like he normally would and didn‘t allow his disease to depress him, which gives me hope that when something is wrong, my life doesn’t have to completely stop. He didn’t let cancer take over his life, and that has shown me that when there is an obstacle in my life, I can’t let it take over me. What really characterizes a hero in inspiration, and one thing that inspires me about him is that he was brave when fighting through the obstacles he fought, one of them being cancer. In order for me to live without my dad, he has shown me that I have to be as brave as he was.

My dad would always tell me that if I try my best I could be whatever I want to be. Before my dad’s death I never thought about much past the present time, but after his death, my goal was to focus on the future and choose the right path for me. From that point on I knew that trying my best was always going to be a priority in my education and in my life in general. Knowing that my dad always wanted to go to college but never had the chance makes me try even harder to do well in school, and to succeed in college. One thing I know I will always do when I chase my dreams is never give up, because that is what my dad would have wanted for me, and that is what I want for myself as well.

Although he is absent from my life, his soul lives on through my memory and in my heart. This man is not my hero just because he is my dad; he is my hero because he made his life something to smile about. I am strong and positive today because of my dad‘s effect on my dreams. Letting go of him that first day of preschool allowed me to keep holding on, because I have learned to embrace his absence. The advice and reassurance he gave me allowed me to get through that first day, and now, as I prepare to leave childhood behind and enter the world of adulthood, I know he’ll always be a part of me.