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No, it isn’t fair. It never is. Don’t dwell on why they are not here, but rather celebrate the great life they have lived here on Earth. Don’t think it’s bad to cry, after at all, how often do you lose someone dear to you? Don’t seek for sympathy, but rather seek for strength and humility. Make it a goal to grow deeper in your relationship with your self, family, friends, and most important Our Father Above.

Here’s my story:

I lost my father on a Tuesday morning in April when I was only 12 years old. Unfortunately, I was there to witness it all as it happened. In fact, I was the only one there. He passed away from a heart attack at age 59. At age 12, how can someone cope with a lost so great?

I needed a father figure in my life to teach me how to tie a tie, to fix that leaking roof, to give me that father-to-son talk, to learn how to lead a family. I cried there on my mom’s bed with my sister for hours waiting for my mom and brother to return from the hospital praying he would be alright. There was nothing else I knew better to do but cry there.

I knew the harder I cried, the worst I felt. However, I knew each tear that came out would just show how much I cared for him and how much he so genuinely cared for me. You see, my father wanted the best for me. He started a small laundry mat in hopes that he could provide for our family. He casted his net each morning in the canal so we would have extra food on the table. He sacrificed everything so his kids could live a little better. He was a man that didn’t need much to be happy, just his family and the simple things in life.

My mom ended up working two full-time jobs because of the loss. She even worked overtime most weekends to pay for the mortgage. We tried our hardest to make sure she would come home from those 16 hours of work that day in peace. My mom only asked for us to keep the house clean, make good grades, and that we stay good kids. I wish we would’ve tried harder.

As I was laying there in my bed crying for the second day straight. Some came in my room the entire day speechless. Some came to give me a hug, and some just an “I’m sorry…”. I tried to be strong, to keep my mind off of it, to even pretend it never happened. But as soon as I came back to reality that my father wasn’t coming back, the tears started to come out again.

That day God spoke to me and asked me one question that changed my life forever. He said, “What would your father want you to do?” I could either keep dwelling on how my father wasn’t here or I could use this experience to inspire me to be the best Peter I could possibly live on this earth. I would study harder in school because of him. I would practice my basketball even longer to prove to the bigger kids that I could play. I would try to be the best son I could possibly be. I would continue to keep learning and trying new things. I would live a life with reason, not just out of mere existence. I would begin a deeper relationship with the Father Above because He is the only one that could give me this sort of strength. I would work harder in everything I did because that’s exactly what I knew my father would have wanted me to do. And because of all of this, this is who I am now.

I’m not at all thankful that my father died, rather grateful that with each obstacle and challenge and trial we face in our life, that God somehow always seems to provide a way to make us stronger because of it.

Dad, as you look down from Above, thank you for loving and caring and sacrificing for us. Hope you are proud.

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us”– Romans 5:3-5