This We Believe

Separated by Differences, United by Beliefs

Hero in the Streets

on February 24, 2014

My father is my hero.

For many years, he worked hard to support his wife and two sons at an old hardware store downtown. He did whatever needed to be done to keep his family happy. I don’t think that it was entirely his fault when my parents got a divorce. My mother had met someone else, there’s nothing he could do about it.

Some of my fondest childhood memories come from my time living with my dad in the apartment he rented after the break up. He would make my brother and I barbeque chicken on the grill every weekend, and joke around and play video games with us, all while our favorite wrestling show would blare from the T.V.

My dad has been my hero my whole life. That’s why it is devastating to know that he now lives on the streets. Many years full of bad decisions, anger towards my mother, and depression lead to my father’s current position.

His life often reminds me of a sick joke, with the cards constantly being stacked against him. It’s as if he breaks down one wall, only to have another one built, obstructing any sort of goal that he has for himself. True, making better decisions could have kept him from being homeless, but so many other factors play in to my dad’s story. I myself don’t even think I know the half of what my dad really has went through. Because of this, I try to give my father the benefit of the doubt. Regardless of everything that has happened, I don’t treat him any differently. When I talk to him, I’m not talking to a homeless man. The man in front of me is still my father, and I still have all of the respect for him in the world. The decisions that he made in his life have put him in the situation he is in now, but they do not define who he is.

I believe that nobody should be the victim of a snap judgment. Walking past my dad on the street, one might think that he’s just the typical homeless man, even though my father looks exactly the same as he did when he was employed and living under a roof. The idea of living on the streets changes people’s perceptions. When people see my dad, they have no idea that they are looking at a proud father of two, a man that used to own his own house, and a hard worker who managed his own store downtown. Nobody knows my dad when they look at him, they just know that he lives on the street.

Everybody, no matter their position in life, has a story. People face different struggles everyday, and our decisions create our future. One bad decision could change somebody’s life, and ultimately, define how we perceive them.

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One response to “Hero in the Streets

  1. carlymcc says:

    Wow, that’s quite a story. And by sharing it, you’ve made me reaffirm my belief that nobody deserves to be judged. We each have our own experiences that help define who we are, no one thing can do so. Thank you for making me remember that no one should be judged or looked down upon because of where they may be in life. I hope things with your dad get better, and I admire you tremendously for sharing this personal story. Also for trying to understand your dad, and loving him no matter what. Kudos to you. And to your father.

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