Surviving Father’s Day: Reminiscing Memories with my Father

Jun 15, 2021 | Survivor Voices

By Aliyah Vasquez

The following is the opinion and personal experience of the writer.

I have so many memories of my dad, but the one I hold close to my heart is when I was a little girl and shaved my eyebrows. I remember jumping onto the restroom sink and sitting down. As I looked around the restroom, I saw a pink razor and started shaving the end of my eyebrow. When I looked into the mirror, I was shocked to see what I had done, so I tried to even out my eyebrow and shaved my other eyebrow to make them look the same. Once I was done, I put the razor down, thinking no one would notice; I walked out to the living room where my dad and mom were sitting watching tv, but my dad saw it right away. He asked me what I had done, took me right back to the restroom, and shaved my eyebrows off. The next day my mom took me to cut my bangs. Shaving my eyebrows is one of the best memories I cherish dearly.

I lost my dad on August 5th, 2017, and around those dates, I had just turned 17 and started my senior year of high school. Singing happy birthday to a picture is the worst part; waiting for their return is hard, and it’s most challenging when you realize that they will never come back. The rage that comes with this loss is ugly. The envy of seeing friends, cousins, or even a stranger with their dad at the store is so defeating. Accidentally calling their old phone number and realizing halfway through the ring that your loved one isn’t going to be on the other end of the phone breaks you. Feeling like your accomplishments aren’t as promising as they would be if that person would’ve been there to celebrate sucks. But through all the tough times, you learn to fight and keep moving forward in their honor.

My Grieving Process Was Different

The first year I didn’t grieve like everyone else. I continued to go to school, but I slowly stopped going to school and started ditching the second semester. My government teacher had no idea who I was. I was failing every class; my highest F was 45.7%. I was scared to finish school because I knew my dad wouldn’t be in the stands yelling my name. Then, with only one month left of school, my mom received a call from the school telling her I wasn’t going to graduate. When she talked with me about my performance at school, I realized that I was hurting my mom with my actions. So I decided to do everything I could to graduated on time. The day I walked across that stage, I felt like my dad was there, and my hope began to grow again.

How I Found Comfort Talking About My Dad

It’ll be four years in August without my dad, and it’s never easy. However, being around those who have felt a similar pain, you feel more like yourself; you don’t feel like you are making others uncomfortable talking about your loved one. It’s nice to know that others understand where you’re coming from and know that you will never be the same person you once were when you had your loved one on earth.

My Advice

My advice to you on this Father’s Day is to do something you would typically do with your dad and listen to music that they liked, eat their favorite meal, and feel that beautiful feeling when they show you they’re right beside you. It’s tough, I know, but when you strive for them, you’ll succeed and learn to be happy in your new “normal.”

In loving memory of Victor Alonso Vasquez 01/16/1974 – 08/05/17

Click here to read how Aliyah’s brother, Victor, is surviving fathers day.

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