When I was going into the eighth grade, all I wanted to do was be a cheerleader. I had already tried softball and basketball...and I was horrible. My best friends cheered so I desperately wanted to be with them. My dad agreed to work with me and spent countless numbers of hours in the back yard spotting me for my back hand spring.
I'd hit him hundreds of times as I threw myself backwards, nearly knocking him over. He stayed with me though.
When the day finally came, I gave it my best. I'd learned every cheer, every chant and the dance routine. When asked if I could throw a back hand spring, I took a deep breath and threw it. It wasn't pretty, but I made it over.
When try outs were done, the judges asked all of us to wait outside as they tallied the scores. In what seemed like an eternity, the list was finally posted. My friends and I gathered as our fingers fled down the page to every single name. Theirs were all there. Mine was not. As they began to scream and hug, I congratulated them and turned to go. A pit in my stomach like I had never felt, grew until I began to cry so hard, my parents could do nothing but hold me.
My dad simply said. "You tried. You did your best. You can either quit and never try again, or you can work harder and get it next year."
He continued to work with me and I did make it the next year in high school, then went on to cheer through my senior year of college.
There are no pictures of that day though. The day that I was crushed and my dad held me as I cried. There are no pictures of the time I was sixteen and had to tell him that because I tried to back the car out of the garage, I ran straight into the garage door instead. There are no pictures of him consoling me from a broken heart from the guy that I "knew" was the one.
There are no pictures of the two of us standing behind closed doors as a church was filled, waiting for us to come through. Those pictures don't exist.
Those are the pictures that are taken with the heart, not a camera. Those are the memories that define who you are and what a dad means to you.
For those pictures that don't exist, I thank you dad. Thank you for guiding me and teaching me through life's ups and downs...and by the way, I really am sorry about the garage. :)
Happy Father's Day
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