October 18, 2010
AP Language Arts
There are a countless number of times when I heard that everyone should appreciate what they have. I never listened. I was young and naïve and now know that I should have listened. A person never knows what they have until they have lost it. They don’t know how valuable it is until it is out of their grasp. I have lost a lot of things I considered valuable, mostly material things that I could always replace. The person I lost is the most valuable but also the most irreplaceable person in my life. I lost my dad. Not in the sense that he is buried six feet under, but the shell that lives at home with me is not my real father. My family has a schedule: come home, do homework, clean up, and eat dinner. About nine years ago, our routine changed. Because my father was a truck driver, he was home maybe once or twice a week. I always took for granted his absence. To me, it was a time of freedom when I could watch movies late into the night and get away with things that when my dad was home, couldn’t get away with before. We were in the middle of dinner when we got the call. My mother knew the dangers of being a truck driver and knew what to expect, yet she could have never been prepared for the news. My dad was in an accident. A woman with two children in the back seat of her car cut my dad off. He was transporting an eight-wheeler, so in order to avoid hitting the smaller car, he swerved off the road. His truck flipped and he hit his head on the window which shattered, causing his head to bounce off the pavement a couple of times. He has not been the same ever since. Before the accident, my dad was the best father there could have been. He would shower us with gifts whenever he came back from a trip, he would help us with our homework when he had the day off, and he was the best all around. He was always thinking up new games to play with us. My favorite was the Monster Game. He would chase us around the house while at the same time imitating some kind of beast we saw on a movie earlier that week. Now, he can’t do any of these things. Because of the numerous head injuries he suffered, my dad has not worked since that day nine years ago. He is always dizzy and he is in constant pain. He can’t talk without taking a breath every couple of minutes and he can’t walk three yards without tiring. The littlest of things upsets him and he can’t remember much of earlier life. Today, when I see fathers playing with their kids, walking dogs, or running through the park, I sometimes wish that that is my father and that my father could do all those things those normal fathers can do. There are a lot of things in life that I regret. What I regret the most is having not loved my father as best I could have and gives a whole new meaning to the saying, “You don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.” Now I wish I had given my dad more hugs and had appreciated him more when I was younger. I always took him for granted. Now that I’m older and know a lot more, I sometimes wish that I could turn back time and give my dad more hugs. Now, before leaving for school, I tell him that I love him, but it’s still not enough.