Losing Takes on a Different Meaning

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short narrative reflection I did for a composition class and my professor gave me an A! I'm very proud of it and hope you enjoy it....

Submitted: April 30, 2008

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Submitted: April 30, 2008

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Remembering that day, I sat quietly in my classroom waiting for the teacher to tell us it was time to leave. Someone came into the classroom, a student helper from the front office, and gave the teacher a note, who in turn said, “Lynn Liberty, you are to go to the front office. You can take your things with you, honey. Class is almost done anyway.” As I collected my things, I felt relieved that I was getting out of class before the rest of the students. Feeling everyone watch me, I hurried out of the classroom wondering why I was being summoned to the office. Oh YES, of course! My dad made a doctors appointment for me, that’s it. I had a strange bump on my skin and he said he had wanted to have the doctor look at it.

My dad…what a guy! He was always strict with us but he was the most fun as well. Giving us bicycle rides on his legs, tickling us until we nearly wet our pants, giving us Eskimo and butterfly kisses before bedtime. If we misbehaved, my mom would say, “Wait until your father gets home!” When she said that, she was serious! Yet still, he never gave me a spanking before. Possibly a swat on the bottom, a well-deserved one at that; but never a spanking. He was gentle yet firm with his direction on discipline in the house. No one could talk back to our mom. When I would go into the basement, I remembered asking him, “Dad, what are you doing?”, when it was obvious he was doing something at his workbench. He would answer, “Bakin’ a cake!” and he’d turn to smile at me. Oh, my dad!
With that thought, I smiled. Walking to the office with a happy feeling of getting out of school, much less my class, I saw my mom standing in the front entrance of the school. The area where people come into the school, yet not all the way and I thought it was strange because she was not inside the office waiting for me. Rather she was alone in the front area. It was mid April and I didn’t have a jacket so I walked towards her. I waved, and she came to meet me with a very somber look on her face. She put her arm around me and said she wanted me to come with her. “Honey,” she said, “your dad has been in an accident.” I simply asked which hospital he was in and that’s when she said he was not in the hospital. At 12 years old, I knew what death meant. I just remember not willing to accept that it was my dad who died.
This is where my life started to change, after my dad passed away. My dad was truly a wonderful father/husband/man and a great influence on my two sisters, my brother, and myself. This is not difficult to talk about as I feel that time has healed wounds that I thought would never be repaired. Life without my dad was a challenge for my entire family. My sisterLori was 15 at the time, my brotherLewis was 11, and my younger sisterLeslie was only 7. Although it was difficult on us, the person who suffered the most was my mom. While we have fantastic memories of our dad and the mannerisms he instilled in each of us, it was my mom who was the backbone to our family and the way we were raised.
She taught us to be strong and reach our goals. She said always remember that no matter what heartaches may come in our life, nothing would hurt as much as losing our dad. If we could live through that, then we could live through anything. She raised us on her own, never remarried and worked a full-time job to support us. Life doesn’t always work out the way one might plan it, but there is a reason why things happen. I can look back now and say my mom has taught me how to be strong and how to be honest. She has never once let us forget about our dad. The memories we have of him are with us forever. Even my nieces and nephews know of Grandpa Richard and they often ask about him. At the dinner table, they know who is the one that said, “Elbows off the table”…it’s Grandpa Richard.

That was a major loss in my life. One that I have had to deal with in my own way. Losing people in your life is not easy. How to cope with that loss is a complicated issue and I suppose everyone deals with it in his or her own way. Deep down I think I have always been afraid of loss or possibly being alone. That’s when I met Antonio. Tall, dark, handsome...he was very charismatic and easy to talk to. No wonder I liked him. We were married and it seemed to be going well but then things changed. I changed. It’s a horrible feeling to actually admit that you don’t feel in love with someone anymore. After 8 years of being together, I decided I needed to leave the relationship. Thank goodness, we did not have children. At the time we divorced, we’d been living in Cancun Mexico for almost 3 years and I continued living there and stayed on at my job as an English teacher. Life in Mexico as a foreigner was not easy. Getting documentation to stay in the country was a pain in the butt! Every six months I had to do this, go to Immigration and fill out new papers to continue working legally. While teaching I met Stefan, and after courting for over one year, we decided to get married. We wanted to make a better life for our future, economically speaking, and moved to Chicago in 2001.

While marriage is a wonderful thing for most people, it was just not meant for me. At least not at this time in my life. Maybe this is a sign from above, maybe my guardian angel is watching over me? Who knows? But my second marriage was a difficult loss for me as I truly, with all my heart, wanted things to work out. For the longest time I have always felt my dad was watching over me, protecting me from things that are not right for me. Since my second divorce, which I did alone, I have made the decision to do things for me. It is important to make sure that I feel good about myself for me and not for anyone else. Learning to love myself was difficult because I have always wanted to love someone else more than myself. But how can you love someone else if you don’t love yourself?

This is where school comes into play and how I still think that the loss of my dad has kept me strong through all the hardships. School was my savior during the hard times. Instead of going out and getting drunk with friends, instead of drowning my sorrows, I went back to college. I am now a junior in college working to earn my Bachelors degree. I have gained more courage about life and its ups and downs and have learned so much. While I have had great losses, I have also had many successes in the past 25 years. Losing doesn’t always mean something bad. Losing for me has taken a different meaning in my life. My dad is not gone, he’s right beside me, every step I have taken and everywhere I plan to go, he’ll still be with me. I am not afraid to be alone anymore. But hey…I am still a romantic at heart and if romance is still out there then whatever happens, happens.


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