Growing up without a dad

From having my dad to not I was lucky to have the time 

By: Sammi Boring



Everyone always said to me that my dad was someone that knew everyone. He was comfortable talking to anyone and could talk about anything any day. My dad’s heart had enlarged from pneumonia and his problem with drug and alcohol abuse. I had always known my dad was sick and had an addiction problem, but I never thought he could possibly die from it. 


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May 11, 2007 was the day I found out that my life would change forever. Coming home from the third grade, I found my mom, brother, and grandparents in the room there to deliver the news that my dad had passed away. 


That was almost 12 years ago and now in my twenties, I still remember that day like it was yesterday. Once my family told me, I went upstairs to my parent’s room and just looked at my dad’s clothes. It was hard for me to understand why and how this had happened. I always knew my dad had an addiction problem from the times he would not come home for the night and overhearing the arguments my parents had. 


I always looked up to my dad for consistently being there for others. We were extremely close. He used to take me to Petland as a kid to play with puppies. He would always do so many fun things with me. I enjoyed the time I spent with him up until his death.



After that day, I stayed at home with my mom and brother getting ready for the visitation and funeral. I was unsure of how school would be after the funeral. Being so young, it was hard to understand exactly what my life would be like after this. Would my mom get remarried? Would we have to move? There were so many things that I believed could happen to my family and it was a lot to take in as a third grader. 


Once the summer was over, I went into the fourth grade.  I  hated going to school. I remember crying a lot whenever my teacher would call on me or pull me aside to talk about something. I  always missed my dad and wished he could be there to see me finish the fourth grade. I always performed in the talent show, and this year he wouldn’t attend. Around that same time, I was put into grief counseling called “Solace House” with my brother and mom. 


This counseling was with other kids who had been through similar trauma. I heard their stories about how they had lost a parent. It taught me a lot about losing a parent, and even though it’s hard, you can always get through it. We learned from each other and everyone came out a lot stronger afterward. 


My mom, brother, and I went through a lot of hardships. My mom became a super mom. She did everything from yard work, after-school activities, mediating fights between my brother and I, all while working as a hair stylist to make ends meet. It was a huge struggle for us, but we are so much closer and stronger now. 


 I constantly heard my peers say, “I hate my mom/dad,” when I was in high school. It always pissed me off when I heard the way kids spoke about their parents. Maybe because I lost a parent, I was just grateful to have one, but it was so frustrating to me to see people act this way and not think twice about it. I started to say to other kids “At least both of your parents are alive.” It might sound harsh, but for me, it was a way to make them think of how lucky they were. 


There were so many times that I wished I could have hugged my dad and said “I love you” again. In high school, I finally came to terms with the fact that I would not have a dad again, but I am lucky to have my mom and an older brother I look up to. People lose their parents every day; whether you’re young or old it's hard. Something that I always tell people is that even though you might be mad at your parents or family, just remember how one day they might not be around and be thankful that they are there now to get mad at, cry with, hug, and love. 

Wake Mag