When I was seven I was never really thinking about my parents getting a divorce. I always thought if moms and dads loved each other they stayed together forever. Right? Well when I finished the second grade I learned this wasn’t true. My parents sat me down and explained to me that they weren’t happy together and that they needed a break. The truth is that I needed a break too. I wasn’t happy that my mom, brother, and I were moving out of the house, I was devastated. But I realized that life has different plans for your future and not everything works itself out like in the movies.
“Rickey was testing whether my father had the strength of character to fight back with his bat rather than his fist.” Like Jackie Robinson I too was tested to see how I’d react, the first couple weeks of my not being with dad were horrific. I didn’t sleep, I didn’t eat, but I always had hope that when I woke up every morning I would see him at the dinner table coffee mug in hand waiting for me to sit with him and just talk. I would always expect him to be their at the bus stop waiting for me to get off the bus running over to him and him embracing me in a big bear hug. By the time I turned 8 and was in the third grade, I knew that was never again going to happen.
My stepdad has played a humongous role in this whole thing, he played the role of being there when I needed it the most. He may not be my father by blood, but he is my father by heart. I chose to let him into my small world, and the impact he has made on it has been tremendous. So this is just a quick thank you to my stepdad for acting like a father to me all these years. Even though he probably didn’t know anything about being a parent, he didn’t turn his back on us. Do not ever look at having a stepdad as a burden, because you are very privileged to have two fathers who care for you and love you and are always there by your side when not everyone is.
I used determination and teamwork to overcome my barrier. Determination because I was determined to never lose touch with my father, talk to him on a daily basis, and just simply keep my life together in general. Teamwork because I needed the help of others most at this time, and I was always working with both my mom and my dad to work out when I’d be where.
All this had me very stressed but I had a sport to rely on when I was feeling down. Gymnastics has been very helpful on these stressful days, I tried my hardest because I always remembered my dad saying “Quitters never win, and winners never quit” these are some of the words that kept me going in the gym. I also had friends to back me up, and a coach to prove it. Gymnastics is one of the best choices I have made in the past couple of years. The rush I felt at the gym was the best feeling I’d had in a long time, each time a new skill or a new obstacle would get in my way I’d just say “practice makes me better, dad will be so proud of me when he sees.” so I kept going and never gave up.
My friends have been a HUGE help in my life so far since the divorce, they were my friends and never left my side. Although along the way I have met some people that do not want to see you succeed in life. These are the people who laughed when I was down and envied me when I rose back up. So yes my life has not been perfect but I am glad that these people are in it.
What I have realized after all of this is that life isn’t always like in the fairytales, you can not choose your destiny, that the people who were there since day one of your hurting are the people who love you the most, and the people who once said that you were their friend and weren’t there when you needed them the most, well they chose to show their true colors.