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Having a dad

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We all strive for attention and affection, whether it is from family, friends, or a random individual. But earning the attention of the ones we wish to love shouldn’t be hard, especially if it’s a family. “ Patching Holes” is a story by Andi Long, which describes her relationship and daily life with her cold hearted father who is somewhat like most dads or father figures I’ve come to know. As a child growing up, I never really had a father figure. For me my father figure is my grandpa, which is weird seeing as he is so much like the father in the story “ Patching Holes”, just cold hearted, hardworking and violent.

But, he shows small flashes of compassion here and there. I have longed for his attention since I was a child for the simple feeling of having a dad. A father figure is what most people want but a lot of people don’t have. “ Patching Holes” by Long, tells the story of Andrea, a young lady who desperately tried to get her father’s attention. Her father is an arborist, which the author explains is “ The fancy word for tree surgeon…”, so his job was dangerous as he dealt with chainsaws and high altitudes at an advanced age (128).

He often was short tempered and would get violent, which he showed by punching holes in walls. He would spend time at home patching these holes he made, taking his time doing so as if to say he was sorry (129). Craving her father’s attention, would smoke cigarettes with him at the age of thirteen through to her current age in the story which was twenty (128). She often felt jealous when her father would give more attention to the house dog than to her, counting every word said to the dog compared to the words her father said to her.

It took her father to get seriously injured for Andrea and her dad to spend time together, but the time was spent with Andrea doing degrading work to help her injured father get through a day (131). It was until one moment that started out like any other day. She took her father outside and cared for him and he stared at her with drug induced dilated pupils and said “ You’re a sweetheart” (132). That was the first complement she had ever gotten from her dad that she can remember and she didn’t know how to react, she felt loved.

This was all fine and dandy until her father got better and everything went back to normal, “ Back with holes to patch” as stated by Andi Long. The reading of “ Patching Holes” was very weird to read for me. This story contained emotion as she told the story of her father who was somewhat a cold man. I can totally relate to this story because my grandfather was and somewhat is still is this way. I grew up with no dad so he was a fall back. He really didn’t know how to show love even to a child. Growing up with him all I did was work all day on his farm, doing everything as a child to make him happy.

It’s hard to make a perfectionist happy. Considering he is the only father figure in my life I have felt obligated to be like a son to him or even better than that. I don’t really remember the first time he got sick but the second time I can’t forget, it was on my birthday when we drove to Seattle for his surgery and everyone that went was crying. I didn’t know why and I asked my uncle, he said “ Apa might be gone forever today”. For me as a child, to hear that the only man I could ever love might to die on my birthday, I took it very well, I felt nothing.

When we got to the hospital I wanted to play on the toys they had for kids, but my grandma wouldn’t let me so waited for five hours for his surgery to be over. He had made it through the surgery with flying colors which was a miracle, I mean I guess I was happy. It was time for all of us to see him one by one, I went in nervous. He was all bandaged up with some blood showing on the bandages and had the biggest smile on his face and started crying when he saw me. I smiled back scared of all the wires and blood and he got up and hugged me and said “ Te amo mijo”.

I cried, we exchanged kisses and I told him “ Yo tambien te amo apa”. Ever since then we say that to each other every day and give each other kisses on the cheek and a hug. Our relationship has never been greater but it took him near death to realize who really loved him. Having a dad is a blessing and sometimes can be a curse, but just know a father figure is what most people want but a lot of people don’t have. We all strive for attention and affection, whether it is from family, friends, or a random individual.

The story “ Patching Holes” by Long proves having the attention and affection of a loved one is hard to get sometimes. The story shows it in small and big ways from Andrea just having a cigarette with her dad to caring for his every need when he needed it most. We all have that one person that is hard to impress. Mine was my grandfather and Andreas was her father. And sometimes small acts of kindness can bring out the best in someone, sometimes it will only be for little while or that feeling could last a lifetime, but deep inside everyone feels it.

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