Then he discovered drugs. The life I knew ended. My Papa was gone.
My life as an adult has been affected tremendously due to his addiction. Most people ask me,"Don't you hate him?" I can't hate him, because oddly enough, the way that I have handled his addiction and how I somehow always maintain a positive outlook is because of what my Papa taught me. Most decisions that I make have been based off of this saying he used to tell me, "Honey, life is an adventure, dare it." So no, I do not hate my Papa. But I miss him -- more than anything.
Today is Father's Day and I'm alone as everyone else celebrates their fathers. So in tribute, I share things my Papa taught me:
- I learned that being a nerd was alright because when I used to get picked on by my classmates and siblings for being smart my Papa would tell them: Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them one day.
- When I wouldn't do my chores properly: Lazy people always work twice.
- As a child when I was too shy to try out for the choir, too frightened to jump off the diving board for the first time, and too nervous to introduce myself to the girl who is now my best friend: Don't let fear be why you make a decision.
- But the most amazing lesson he taught me was: Keep your heart big, don't judge people on their mistakes, but love them for who they are.
So for all those out there with fathers, single mothers, or a type of parental-figure -- appreciate them. Every day, you need to appreciate them -- even when they are bothering the heck out of you. Love their quirks. Listen to their lessons. Remember them. Put those good memories deep into your brain. You never know when those memories will be all you have left.