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My Dad
by: myself

< BEGIN ENTRY >

< STEVO BLOOPER >
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Creative Writing, 4th Block
Miss < TEACHER >


I love my dad. He tells stories, plays games, takes my brother and me places, and generally hangs out. As I get older we stop playing hide and shriek upstairs and he starts helping me with school. Every night he comes in to tuck me in with a good night prayer, and then when Mom comes in he moves over to Seans room and bids him good night too. When Mom also moves down to Sean's room, Dad comes back to my room. He sits on my bed, and I ask. I ask everything I can think of, and he answers all my questions in almost perfect detail. It seems as if my dad knows everything, and I want to be like that when I grow up.

I finish fourth grade like this, always asking questions and thirsting for answers. We spend Summer Vacation in Maryland, at my fake aunt's house. She isn't my real aunt; she has been best friends with my mom since forever. She has two daughters, Clarissa and Rosena, who love to play outside, and her husband acts crazy and loves the Three Stooges. They have three cats, (one of which is diabetic,) a swimming pool, and attic/loft area, a basement full of old stuff, a long, winding, and steep driveway, about an acre of backyard, and more. In other words, it's the prefect place to have a vacation.

Dad and Uncle Glen are hunting all four of us through the basement. We've set up a series of forts made of old boxes and shelving, and Dad and Glen have to figure out where exactly we're hiding. When they get close Clarissa starts giggling, but they don't hear us because Dad launches into a coughing fit. He's been coughing all day, but now his face is turning red and Glen has to help support him. Sean and I don't think much of it, we know how dusty it is in the basement, and Titi Donna points out that he's slightly allergic to cats anyway, so nobody worries about it, except Mom. She worries about everything. After all, he did just get back from a mission's trip to Mexico. He probably drank some bad water.

I'm in the fifth grade now, and Dad has been diagnosed with cancer. His lymph nodes have become a problem; when they get too big they squeeze the lungs and blood vessels around them. He coughs all the time now, and lately he's even had to lug around an oxygen tank and sleep with a humidifier. My mom is losing sleep fast, not only from her constant worrying, but just from being kept up all night with Dad's “snoring.” One day he comes out of the shower kind of chuckling. All of his thick dark hair has fallen out, leaving behind the whites that had started sprouting recently. He shows us the lump of black hair he pulled out of his comb.

One morning I wake up earlier than usual. At first I can't figure out why, but then I notice the sirens. I go out to the hallway, and from the top of the steps I see Dad being loaded onto a stretcher that barely past our picture table. I don't see mom. I go back to my room and start getting dressed for school.

I'm doing my spelling homework. Mom's out with some friends, and Dad's downstairs taking a nap. There is a really hard word that I don't know, but I don't want to go downstairs and wake Dad. He's been sleeping badly lately. But I really need help with this word, so I sneak downstairs to see if, by chance, he's awake. He is. I ask him if he isn't too tired to come up and help me with my homework. He just nods his head and follows me upstairs. I show him the book, and he just sits there for a minute, and then writes out the definition on a piece of paper. This really creeps me out, he hasn't said a word the whole time, and I see that his face is a weird color. I ask if he's alright. He looks at me for a second or two, and nods his head.

When he goes downstairs for some water, I call my mom. I’ve been reading too many fiction books lately; thoughts of impostors, crazy killers, even aliens race though my mind. I tell mom that I’m scared, and that Dad won’t talk to me. It isn’t until later that we know that Dad has had a stroke.

The stroke leaves Dad totally normal. Maybe he’s a bit clumsier than usual, but totally normal. But he can’t talk. A blood clot has blocked off the part of his brain that gives him speech. He writes fine. Sometimes if you surprise him he yells, and if you ask him a simple question, like “Are you OK” he whispers “yes” involuntarily. But that’s all. Now he spends most of his time in the hospital. The doctors are afraid that he might have another stroke, another blood clot, or anything. I don’t really like going to visit him; it smells funny and there’s only one chair. I hate standing around his bed, just looking at him. We can’t really hold a conversation. He’s always tired, and I feel totally useless. I hate it. I start sleeping over at friends’ houses, even on school days because mom stays overnight at Piedmont.

After a rather sad and quiet visit, Sean and I go to Jared and Robbie’s house. We play video games, swim, and watch Monty Python. School has been out for few weeks, (4th of July in two days!) so we’ve pretty much been there all day. When we pull into my neighborhood and make the first turn, I see all the cars along our driveway all the way down to the street. Most are still wet from the recent rain. We head into our over crowded house. Mom finds us and quickly pulls us back outside to the front lawn. She’s crying, and she hugs us. “Daddy’s gone. He finally let go. He’s in a better place now.” But it’s OK. Because over Mom’s shoulder I see the rainbow.

< END ENTRY >

This was written for school. My teacher wanted her students to write something sad, scary, or happy that had happened to them, explain how it affected them, and write it to seem as if it was happening again. (present tense) Tomorrow we share these with the whole class. I normally wouldn't post something like this, but I felt like I had to. Plus, I really like the way it turned out, and I want people to see it and appreciate it, even if they go all soft on me. 98% true.

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