I'll miss him forever
by Danielle Breitenbucher
My dad was the most important person in my life and he knew almost everything about me. He was more that a father to me he was my mentor and critic and without knowing it he became my inspiration to become an artist. He was always working on little and big projects ranging from painting a bird house with me or building the play house for my sister. He, over time, became my motivation and reason to continue on with art. I may not draw well but it is really something that we enjoyed together and I will use to connect to him in the future, well along with playing the piano. He would sit and listen to me play the same song over and over until I got it right. He was my voice of reason and I could come to him for most of my problem, school or otherwise, and he would share his experiences with me and find some way to show me another view to the problem. We would sit and talk for hours together and sometimes from when I got home from school to when my mom got home. We had a pretty normal and happy life until the October of my freshman year, I was 14 then, my dad was diagnosed with stage three Multiple Myeloma which is a type of cancer originating in the blood. The following April he went into the hospital to receive a bone marrow transplant and then we spent the summer together. From that summer we got some interesting jokes inside jokes and now that I think about it was the best summer we had by far, we even made pickles for the first time in forever. The rest of that year was pretty uneventful and long. March of 2011 I went to my first competition for school, on Parliamentary Procedure for Skills USA, and my team placed third, which was an accomplishment because it was our first year competing in that part of the competition. I was ecstatic and didn’t know how to react, but my first thought was to send a picture of my medal to my dad so he could share in the happiness. Spring break 2012 we were going to go to D.C and Williamsburg, but that week my dad was hospitalized for an abnormal heart beat. That was the beginning of the end, from then to July he began becoming weaker and weaker, although I didn’t seem to notice that. July 16th was the day I left for Europe, now I am 16, and that day mom took a picture of the two of us together, which was also the last picture of me and my dad. I returned nineteen days later on August 3rd and during my trip no one told me what was going on with him. By the time I returned he was unable to walk, well, on his own and often needed help from my mother to get up when he fell. While I was on my trip he fractured his arm, and eight days after I returned he went into the hospital to have a titanium rod put in his arm. He was only suppose to be there for 23 hours and ended up staying for 15 days in the hospital, until his death on August 23rd. He was a great man and his death, although we knew it was imminent, shook us. My brother for the better, now he drinks less, and my sister fell apart for a while. I am still stunned and I know I won’t ever be okay about this, but I know that he is watching out for us now more than ever. I try to keep up with the others and act tough, like it doesn’t affect me, but it is really hard for me to move on from this, and I think that death like this affects teenagers like me more compared to my older siblings of 30 and 25. I also feel like I ignored him too much towards the end and wish that I would have spent more time in the hospital with him, like my mother who spent every day there. I feel like I was a bad daughter because I couldn’t handle going to the hospital to see him when he probably need to see us the most.
He was a good and honest man, even at his funeral, there was nothing but high praises for him. His coworkers commented on how loyal and dedicated he was to his job and that there were a lot of projects that they would have to finish. His shoes are big ones to fill, metaphorically and otherwise, but he also wasn’t, someone in my mind that I, or anyone else could measure up to without trying. He is definitely a challenge to work for.