A True Silver Lining

Jennifer - Ontario, California
Entered on December 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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A True Silver Lining

When a child loses a parent it’s difficult to remedy the pain. I was two years old when my father died coming home from work one afternoon and his car tumbled off the seventy-one freeway. As I grew older I wondered how I could discover who I am if such a big part of me was missing. For awhile I blamed God, asking him how he could take such a person from me. There has to be a silver lining when it comes to dealing with death…this I believe.

As I grew up I wanted to join girl scouts, partially because my father was a cub scout leader and it made me feel closer to him. Then I thought of softball since it was his favorite sport. Since my father couldn’t be there to teach me, I taught myself. However, I started noticing with my father gone there would be nobody in the house to protect my family. It became my duty to become “the man” of the house. I started pulling my hair back and gaining weight. Some of the kids called me nicknames like fatty, Jenny Craig, or even chubs. Then I started realizing I hated my appearance. When junior high approached I seized it with great caution. I tried blending in and not being noticed by burying myself with school work and extra curricular activities. This in turn helped me deal with the emotional stress caused by the loss of my dad.

When I entered high school there was a phrase I heard too often, “My she looks more like her dad each and every day.” The only problem was I didn’t know what my father had even looked like. This is where my depression stage presented itself. My sophomore year was the hardest. There were days where I wouldn’t want to get out of bed and my blinds would always be shut. I cut church out of my life and blamed God for making this mistake. I drew away from my friends because they often yelled at their fathers. My sophomore year was also when my oldest sister got married. This made me realize that the hurt I felt was a past, present, and future problem. I looked down the road and wondered how I would be able to walk down the aisle without him.

I knew in some cases I lacked the male figure in my life. By the end of the day the pain I feel hurts like hell. But the true silver lining was that I could in fact turn to my faith, family, courage within myself, and celebrate. Celebration to the love I have for my father. Celebration to the wonderful life he led. And celebration to the beautiful person he is making me today. As long as I decide to take him along for the ride, the silver lining he has created will never fade.