Preceding to move forward ( Persistence Essay Final Draft)

8:51pm on June 8, 2006 my life as I knew it was over. I was sitting on the rocking chair in my living room when my mom came home and blurted out in tears “Dad didn’t make it.” Immediately my eyes filled with tears as I screamed in agony. I could barely catch a breath when my mom came over to try and calm me down. The only person who could comfort me, the only person I wanted to comfort me, was my dad and he couldn’t.

The first week of being “fatherless” was the worst week of my life. My dad died a couple days before father’s day and just 10 days shy of his and my mom’s 30th wedding anniversary. It was a really rough month for all the Arruda girls. I didn’t go back to school to finish the year I didn’t want to be treated any different. My friends who knew about my dad’s passing didn’t really know how to talk to me. I mean how do 11 year olds talk about death? My 2 best friends would try and get me to remember the good times. We would laugh back at things my dad has done like this weird dance he had to a Geico commercial and his perfect impression of the Goofy laugh. It made me feel a little better but then the laughing would stop and I would go back to being sad.

Summer ended and school started back up which meant soccer was starting. This was something me and my dad bonded over. He would bring me to all my games and practices, cheer me on from the side line ( he would literally run up and down the field with us), he was the ultimate “soccer dad”. With my dad gone and my mom to busy with work or cleaning up the house, I really started to resent my dad for dying. I hated being the kid that had no one to support them. All this built up anger in me affected me academically. I began to act out in school and just neglect to do any work. I was suspended 5 times that year for “disrespecting” teachers. It wasn’t until the end of 8th grade where I got a rejection letter from Diman that I knew I had to change something.

When I started high school I was still bitter at the fact that my dad was really gone. Come sophomore year something clicked in my head. I was motivated to become the person I knew my dad wanted me to be. Someone he would be proud of. I got my A game on and made the honor roll that year. We all know with highschool comes drama and boys something I was never to familiar dealing with. A lot of boys would try to get to know me but I would just push them to the side. How was I supposed to know who was good or bad with out a father to judge? I had been so terrified of letting someone in or allowing someone to care about me that it wasn’t until my senior year that I actually gave someone a chance ( one of the best decisions of my life). My boyfriend of almost four years now has given me a little bit of life back to me that I had once lost.

Senior year ended and on my dad’s 6th anniversary I walked across the stage and recieved my diploma. I could actually feel him there during the entire ceremony. When my name was called to recieve my diploma, friends and family were all there to yell and cheer me on. I flashed back to the moments he would be at my games yelling and cheering me on and for a short while it felt like my dad was never gone. I knew my dad would’ve been so proud of me and it felt good to end this chapter and perceed to start an even better one.

November after graduation I found out I was pregnant. Scared, nervous, excited, my mind was full of so many emotions. I knew if my dad was alive he would have been so disappointed in me, that his baby girl was going to be a teen mom. My mom hardly spoke to me for seven months but on July 31st everyone fell in love. I know my dad would have too. Along with my dad’s passing helping me to push forward and do good for him, Audrey has really helped with getting me motivated to push through any obstacle. Now I didn’t just have a dad to make proud I had a daughter.

Wanting to make both of them proud I went back to school for Medical Assisting in which I recieved my certificate this past October. I paid for school, worked and provided for Audrey all on my own. I am now back in school persuing to become a Registered Nurse. This is something I know my dad would have been extremely proud of.

Now that Audrey is older (1 1/2) it is a lot easier to help keep my dad’s memory alive and not in a place where it only made me sad. Sometimes we go threw old photos of my dad and she can point out which one is her Grampy and she’ll even give him a kiss. We have a stand by the stairs in my house with a photo of my dad along with a small tree that my mom will decorate with lights for each holiday that passes. I live in front of the cemetary that my dad is buried in and in the summer I bring Audrey to go see him and she’ll play with the cars ( he was a huge nascar fan) by his grave and make sound affects. It is such a bittersweet feeling to watch her play by his grave side.

Nine years has past and a lot has changed from being that 11 year old fatherless child to the 20 year old motivated to make her father proud woman. Losing a parent is extremely difficult to over come. There are some days where it is extremely hard especially when I think about the future and how he will never get to walk me down the isle when I get married or how I’ll never have a father daughter dance. I just have to think of all the cheering he did for me and imagine he’s still is doing so from Heaven. When he first past I thought my life was over. It took so much for me to move foward and to motivate myself to do good for him. He may be gone physically but I am determined to build the life he could have only dreamed of for me.


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