Essay, Pages 6 (1462 words)
The pain that abandoned me for the majority of my life has risen once again. The empty holidays and festivals I experienced all my life with a damaged heart could not come close to the severity of the anguish I felt stirring up inside me. Why does life put us in these cruel situations? We are minnow subjects who involuntarily perform our scripted lives as if we were part of a play and someone else is the theatrical producer. We’re forcibly placed into situations where we are obliged to question our innocence.
“Why did this happen to me?” Love. It’s a powerful, four-letter word with significance embedded in every pronunciation. Our eyes speak stories our mouth fail to tell. For years, I solemnly brought myself to reach emotional support from my friends. All the thoughts and emotions that swam through my head were designed to stay locked in with no key· that is, until a few years ago.
In the future, the girl looking back at me will be wearing a cap and gown.
My mother’s eyes will stare back at mine, as my father’s lips frown back. “Are you ready Ms. Garza?” a lady, only a couple years older than I am right now, will ask me. “Today will be perfect,” I would reassure myself. The curtains would fly open revealing hundreds and thousands of faces staring at me center stage in front of the podium. I would take a deep breath and begin. “As we are ready to start a new chapter in our lives·.
“My High School will forever hold the memories we treasure deeply. It was in those 4 years that we discovered ourselves and became the people whom imagined this day since kindergarten. The rest of our lives begin today. May God bless you and guide you everywhere you go.” Wiping away a tear, I witness the standing ovation I receive from the thousands of faces and thousands of seats taken before my eyes. My Dad pictured this day for years as I nestled between a blanket and the vibration of his heart beating against my tiny head, soothing me to sleep; he knew then, in that moment, he would forever watch over me. The photo albums tucked away in my mother’s closet illustrate the unforgettable memories I’ve tried to bury since my father’s absence. A moment frozen in time of a baby girl bathing in her grandma’s kitchen sink surrounded by a sea of bubbles as her father splashes her with warm water. My father’s ghost accompanied me for as long as I could remember. Refusing to believe the reality of this world, I forcedly believed in the absurdity of imagination’s power. “He left for work,” “he is still here with us,” “he will come back Jackie (my sister), don’t cry!” I had no idea she knew the truth because she was older. My mother didn’t want to tell me because how was a four-year old supposed to learn and accept that her father left with no return?
His ghost lies beneath the truth of secrecy. I convinced myself he would return someday and when he would, he would swoop Jackie and I into those big, comforting arms of his and kiss us until we begged for mercy. It was May 24th, the day before Bring your father to school day. Every four years, the district would host a Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, where you could bring one of your parents to school and show them what you did on a regular school day-to-day basis. I often daydreamed what would happen on that day in particular when my dad would finally travel down from work and come to my school. Arriving, I would reveal my favorite seat in class, take him to the library where we’d read my favorite books: “The Chamber of Secrets,” and “Esperanza Rising.” I would invite him to rest on my favorite chair in the library, the one with the big, comfy seat and headrest, and later he’d join to play with me during recess. Later, I’d proudly introduce him to everyone in school to show them My Dad. It sounds a bit selfish, but if you were constantly getting picked on for the absence of your father on Father’s Day at school· you’d understand. I pratted endlessly of my father’s return from his full-time job. That night, I called upon the stars hoping they’d hear my cries for help. I prayed to God for his arrival, and asked God if he could guide my father tonight as he flew down to the valley. After years of unanswered questions, calls ending with the same voicemail, his arrival was only hours away. Every four years they have this special day, so my father knew. I know my father, and he wouldn’t miss a chance to be with his angel for the world.
May 25th. Today’s the day. I woke up a full hour and a half earlier ensuring I appeared perfect. I kindly asked my mom to form my hair into two pigtails, the way my father liked my hair best, and spray a sugary perfume on me. Before heading on to the bus, I kissed my mom on the cheek and told her the words I hadn’t realized brought her tears, “Bye mommy see you later! Don’t forget daddy’s coming home today!” And just like that, I walked out the front door ignoring the wounds I had just unintentionally reopened.
I sat impatiently at school with my eyes glued to the door. As fathers accompanying their princess flooded the small classroom, depression knocked on the door. Grinning from ear to ear, each father and daughter in class were either reading to one another, or playing in the playground. As the clock ticked by, I recall feeling hopeless. My friends came up to me with their father’s hands in theirs as they asked me where mine was and that they wanted our fathers to meet. “He’s on his way,” I reassured them. Dumbfounded, I questioned whether the one I attempted to reassure was them, or myself. Maybe his boss didn’t let him come after all? Maybe he changed his mind and will come the next four years? The laughter and love that consumed my class drove me into utter bitterness. He wasn’t coming. He left. It’s been countless birthday celebrations, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other holidays without his physical being, why should I wait for him now? I’m tired of sitting around asking “when is Daddy coming home” only to be faced with no response. The hate and doubt began to flush out the love and hope that remained inside me. I’m tired of postcards reading “I’m sorry I couldn’t make it this year honey, but happy birthday my sunshine! Love you, mucho.” These were my remedy to soothing my afflicted heart. Convinced he ran into a problem resulting in his nonappearance, I heard the door open ever so slightly. And just like that, my scars were resilient.
My mom peeked her head in like a turtle to ensure she was at the right classroom. What was my mother doing here? With everyone’s eyes on her, she walked up to me and smiled. She opened her mouth in an attempt to say something but all she could manage to let out was a groan as tears began to splash her rose cheeks. Two hairy, familiar hands moved her aside revealing him. My father tracing right behind her, did what I longed for years. My heart beat faster than it had ever beat before. The emotions that secluded my brain quickly spread to every inch of my body. He was here. The stars listened to my endless nights of praying. The stars guided him on the way back home. In arms wrapped around tightly, my eyes brimmed with crystal liquid. It felt unrealistic. I stared into the honey eyes of my father patiently waiting for the walls to fade, his face to slowly wither away into the dust of wind, and watch my surroundings die as I would wake up and realize this was just another dream. Fortunately, it wasn’t.
One day, I will stand before the eyes I once thought betrayed me, in my cap and gown. I will make no hesitations when I run across the yard full of remembered loved ones and sit by his grave. He will whisper those three dulcet words and sing “it’s love without end, amen,” a song by George Strait expressing the love from a father onto his child. I will then look up into the sky and thank God for showing me the true values of love and patience. And later that night, I will say goodnight to my father up in the night sky.