Slice of Life 2013

Slice of Life 2013 Day 27: A Father’s Love

on March 27, 2013

Slice of Life
I’m participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge, hosted by Stacey Shubitz and Ruth Ayres at Two Writing Teachers.

Today after lunch during what our school calls “homebase,” a 20-minute, sort-of- study hall/holding area for students, one of my girls pulled up her chair to chat with me. “Donna” will often come and talk to me when she needs a listening ear. She has confided in me about lots of different things: parent problems, drama with her friends, her grades, her obsession with shoes, etc.

I could tell she wasn’t in need of advice today, as she had the biggest grin on her face.

“I’m having the best day, Mrs. Stevens!” she said. She was absolutely beaming.

“What’s up?”

“Well, I have a visitor I’m going to see tonight and I am so excited! You will never guess who it is!”

“Give me a hint?” I asked.

“Well, it’s someone I haven’t seen in a really long time…” she said shyly.

That’s when I knew it was her father.

I don’t know Donna’s father other than what she’s shared with me. Right after Christmas break she was in tears one day and she shared with me about how her father is always promising things and he doesn’t deliver. At the time I knew he lived far away and she didn’t see him very often. She was sad that he had promised her certain things for Christmas, and here it was January and no packages had arrived. She was so tired of being disappointed.

My heart broke for Donna that day as I know just how important a father’s love is, especially to a young girl.

So, when Donna shared that her father was in town and she would see him tonight, I was a bit surprised.

One of Donna’s friends was listening in on our conversation and she overheard that her dad was in town.

“Wow, Donna, you haven’t seen your dad in what, eight years?” Joanne piped in.

“Yeah, it’s been about eight years since I’ve seen him,” Donna confirmed. “I think I was about four years old the last time we visited.”

Wow. I had no idea it had been that long.

I can’t imagine what that must be like for her. But I do know that just the thought of seeing her “daddy” after so many years…he was finally coming through for her…had this girl absolutely radiating happiness.

A father’s love can do that to you.

My heart breaks for girls like Donna who grow up without the constant and steady love of a father. A father’s love is so important to a young girl’s development of self-esteem, and self-worth. When you are a young girl and you have a dad that adores you just as you are, there is no greater gift.

I did not have that kind of relationship with my own dad, but I did know that he loved me. He just wasn’t that sort of dad.

But I have seen how transformative a father’s love can be with my own daughter. Her father adores her and she has always known that love. She knows her dad would do anything for her and that he will always love and support her, no matter what. That’s a powerful love.

So when I see girls like Donna, sweet, wonderful girls like Donna, who have to make do, accept less than they deserve, it truly breaks my heart.

I hope Donna’s visit with her dad is all she hopes it will be and more. I know that her dad can’t make up for the years he has missed or the promises he has broken…but it’s a start.



2 responses to “Slice of Life 2013 Day 27: A Father’s Love

  1. jhaworthoy says:

    This broke my heart! The first thing that went through my mind was…what if he doesn’t show up! I will think positive thoughts. Your post spoke a strong thruth. Your daughter is lucky that her father adores her and lets her know! Jackie

  2. Good for you, Gail, that you are the teacher Donna talks to! She does have a sad aspect of her life but she sounds like she has found and created a lot of good for herself as well and you’re part of it.

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