Lauren - Atlanta, Georgia
Entered on March 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death
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I was fourteen when my dad died. He had struggled with cancer for two years when he lost the fight. The doctors had told my family in September that it could be any day when he didn’t make it, but he held on until the last day in November.

My dad helped people for a living. Occasionally at church he would run into one of his patients and they would thank him for saving their life, for helping them have another try with life. So when he was diagnosed with a life threatening disease, I couldn’t understand why. Why it had to happen to such a great dad, a loving husband, a doctor with such dedication to his work. It wasn’t until after his death that I understood why. I believe in everything happening for a reason.

After my dad’s death everything was turned upside down for my family. The earth kept spinning, but for my mom, two brothers, and me, each day seemed to grow longer in length. We went by our everyday routine in zombie mode and school seemed like a waste because each of us was too caught up in hiding our emotions to appear strong for one another. Soon, all the emotions built up inside were too much to handle. I stopped going to school everyday. I would go maybe twice a week if I could gather up the strength to get out of bed and tell all the worriers I was “fine”. I eventually left the school and had to start the year over. It was almost worth it. My older brother partied too much and got himself in bad situations where he made almost worse decisions. My younger brother was still learning English and had only known our dad for about a year. He was the best of us. And my mom, she was doing her best to keep us a semi-functional family.

After almost a year and a half later, life sometimes seemed normal. However, for my older brother, he continued to spiral downwards from after the death and he had now hit bottom. He knew the inside of cop cars all too well now. He constantly partied and didn’t have any control over himself. After my mom did much thinking, my brother was halfway across the country in rehab. My mom, younger brother, and I went to visit him about halfway through his treatment during family week. I had not seen my brother look so happy since he was in middle school; he was eighteen at the time of our visit. That week spent with him felt as though it strengthened the relationship between our entire family. Although I haven’t come up with the exact reason as to why my dad had to die, I do know it lead to situations that came out with a more positive outlook than before. I do believe that everything in life, good and bad, happens for a reason.