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Everyone has that one person in their life who either influences or inspires them. Whomever the person is super important especially around the teenage years because these ages are the times we’re most venerable because we are learning and developing into adults. Now imagine the same person who was one of your providers, protectors, and counselors switching up on you without an immediate explanation. For me, it was my dad and I felt terrible like I did something wrong.
For him to just cut me off and barley communicate with me out of nowhere hurt me as a young teenage boy, but this experience made me stronger and helped shape me into who I am today. Even though his actions seemed very irresponsible, eventually everything was revealed and it all made since. I gradually noticed my dad removing himself from my life and it really devastated me because growing up he was my best friend. The fact that him and my mom were separated made me cherish every little moment I had with him, so to me his actions became unacceptable. For example, he would say he was too busy or had to work whenever I would discuss me coming over and no matter what he always let me come over even if I was just chilling at his house until he got off. Also, he stopped picking me up for little quick trips to the store whenever I said I needed something for school. Usually he would come pick me up from my mom’s house, go to the store, get something to eat, then drop me back off at her house. Unfortunately, those moments turned into him either putting the money in the mail box for me to go get it, or him going to the store to get it himself.
Being young I really felt like my dad didn’t want me anymore and I didn’t know how to take it. I would’ve asked him what was going on myself but I was scared and nervous. Plus, I don’t want to confront my dad because I’m the child and also I don’t like confrontation so I try to avoid it at all times. This led me into a sunken place and I didn’t know what to do. There was a moment when I thought things were getting back to normal because I eventually got the chance to go over his house, but boy was I wrong. Once I finally got over his house again it seemed like he was in a terrible mood. I assumed he had a bad day at work or somebody pissed him off because he was fussing about every little thing and it was aggravating the mess out of me. There is a difference between telling somebody to do something and fussing which was completely unnecessarily. I’m referring to him fussing at me for having the tv a little loud, leaving my shoes in the middle of the room instead of throwing them in the corner, and forgetting to throw away my pop tart wrapper. All he had to do was talk to me and let me know what I failed to do because raising his voice to get his point across is only going to make me tune him out. Once I became fed up of his little attitude, I told him I wanted to go back with my mom and she came to get me. After this situation I decided to distance myself since whatever he had going on was affecting him so deeply.
One day I came home from school and my mom told me I had to go over my dad’s house, and clearly something was wrong but no one was telling me anything. When I got over there I almost didn’t recognize him, and it wasn’t because I hadn’t seen him in a while; he looked like a whole different person. Not only had he lost a lot of weight, but he moved slow like he aged 30 years. Once he got settled I came over by the bed where he was and what he told me broke my heart. He called me by my nick name and said “son daddy got cancer. ” Instantly my body became warm and my mind was racing because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing like he was just fine and now everything is going downhill. All I could think about was I’m fixing to lose my dad, my protector, and my best friend all at once. After crying my eyes out, I finally calmed down and he talked to me insuring me that everything was going to be alright but everything didn’t look alright. I never seen my dad so weak before and it was crazy to see how he needed assistance just to accomplish basic tasks that he could do the last time I seen him. I had to leave because I had school the next day, but I was determined to make sure I would come visit as much as possible. The next time I went over to see him he looked worse, but he told me he was getting better and that all he wanted was to live long enough to see me graduate high school. Sadly, my mom broke the news to me a couple weeks later that he passed away. At this point I was mad at the world and I just wanted to be alone.
Apparently, my dad had cancer for a while but he didn’t tell me because he didn’t want me to worry. It didn’t matter if we were at a rough patch in our father-son relationship especially since I know why he was acting so strange. He was shutting me out because in his mind he was looking out for me! It made me feel way better to know my dad still wanted me and that he loved me this whole time. I’m so thankful to have been blessed with an amazing father that was still thinking of me while his life was coming to an end. Even though this was a tragic event and I will forever miss my father, it was a growing experience and encouraged me to go after what I want in life because you only get one.
I definitely learned to never judge a book by its cover in this experience, and to give someone a chance to justify themselves because you never know what they’re going through. Take a look at yourself and make sure you’re not jumping to conclusions or being reckless because you’re being one-sided instead of thinking about the reasons that may be behind what’s going on.
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