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Guest Post- Tre Shaw

Posted on March 29, 2018 at 4:10 PM

I'm excited to present a writing from my oldest son. He is graduating from high school in June of this year. He wrote this essay in October 2017 for an AP English IV college essay writing assignment. When he sent it to me to read I was amazed at how well written it was, although I shouldn't have been, he's always been a great writer, and to see his thoughts since the passing of his father written out on paper blew my mind. His father passed when he was 15, a few months before his 16th birthday so to have him express his feelings so genuinely brought tears to my eyes. But enough of my banter. Take a read........

Life wasn’t always like this. I had a nice house; I had friends, and family too; I had two loving parents. Then my father was taken from me. Now no house, friends no longer with me(except the real ones of course), family mistreats me. The words echoing in my head, “you are the man of the house now,” from people I didn’t even know. I remember the burden of having to step up as the new leader of my family. When we relocated to Texas, my mother told me “everything will be okay, I promise. God will take care of us.” I remember doubting the stability of my family; my little brother screaming at me “you’re not my daddy” rings loud in my ears; my mother still believing that everything would be okay. I made a promise during that time. I promised that I would be the man of the family that my father was. That I would be strong for my mother and little brother when they were vulnerable.

I remember coming to the realization that I could not replace my father, for how could you replace the man that nurtured and cared for you the way he did. However, I made it my goal to be the best I could be for my family. I did what I could to take the stress off of my mother. Sometimes it worked, and of course sometimes it didn’t. I remember the countless nights embracing my mother because she wept, not knowing what to do. I learned a lot from this point in my life. I learned the importance of responsibility, the traits of a leader, and the words of a comforter. I learned to not put my faith in people, which I had so often done before. I realized that people would turn their back on me and make blank promises. All of these experiences and realizations molded me as clay into who I am today.

Nowadays, I’m a senior anticipating graduation, which is the purpose of this essay. I’m applying to colleges, trying to prepare myself for the next stage in my life. All the while, I’m taking care of my grades and my family. My mother, of course, still tries to keep me in the dark about financial and other issues, as she says a mother should. Don’t even get me started about her utmost refusal to let me get a job to help out around the house. I have once again grown accustomed to Texas life and society, since it has been so long(10 years to be exact) since I have moved from Texas to Missouri. I am a better person and a better man. I would definitely say that I was raised in a very unique home in a very unique way, but all I can say is that it worked.

Trials and tears have littered my life. I had a choice to either let them pollute my happiness or to clean up. I chose the latter and I am all the better for it, and when I get down and feel weak, I think of the promise that I made two years ago. I think of how proud my father is of me right now for stepping up and taking on responsibility that I did not ask for. I picture him looking down and saying, “look at my son. Look how old he has gotten. Look how responsible he has become.” I can even feel a tinge of humor from him, like, “why couldn’t he do that when I was down there?” This sort of self-treatment works every time.


Danyell Shaw

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