In elementary school, every kid had a superhero that they wanted to be and perceive themselves as. At recess, while I would exuberantly slide down the slides and swing on monkey bars, the main names that would come into conversation were Superman, Batman, and Spiderman. In this time I would always find myself out of place. In my mind, I knew that my superhero did not fly, drive a nice car, or wear a mask or costume. The superhero I had in mind worked long hours to provide shelter. He also had great determination, used his “powers” to good deed, and tutored me on the value of education, family, hard-work, and discipline.
Zeus mentioned in Hercules that “A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength in his heart. ” In any situation I have found myself in, using my father and his strengths as a blueprint has helped structure me into the person I am today. Superheroes’ go through many obstacles when they’re trying to figure out who they truly are and how they’re going to affect their surroundings. In many situations they often have two different personalities. As Bruce Wayne was for private business, and Batman was for public saving, my father was sort of similar.
Danny Brooks was this caring, hard-working, thoughtful guy to the world. And in my eyes, he was this terrifying (at least he was when I was five) monster who would discharge tough love to me. My school teacher would normally use colored checks, along with additional comments to coordinate with our behavior for the day. Green was superior, yellow was satisfactory, orange was poor, and red was atrocious. “If you don’t come home with a green check, you’re going to get a whooping when you get out of class! ” When I was released from school, I knew that my life was coming to an end because of the orange check I received.
I started to bethink on all of the stuff I had done previously, as I walked to the car in front of the school. As I began to buckle my seatbelt inside the car, Father asked to see my folder (where the discipline checks are kept). “Hmm… Orange check, Couldn’t pay attention in class today. ” “Kendall, how come you couldn’t pay attention today? ” I guess what they say about the eyes being windows to the soul is true. When he looked at me I could see flames being commenced inside his pupils. The look I gave him back was like a deer in front of headlights at night.
Speechless, I couldn’t think of anything to say for my mischievous behavior. After every whooping I always received a speech or lesson. Many of the times it was about what I did wrong, and why I shouldn’t do it for future occasions. Discipline came to me very early from my father, for that all his life he had been a “red check. ” With no adult supervision, he started drinking and smoking at the age of 10. Realizing from his past decisions, he always tells me that if he would have had someone to tell him what was right from wrong then maybe he wouldn’t have went down that path.
I always questioned myself on why he had such high regards for me at a young age? I couldn’t understand it then, but it would soon come into play as I aged and matured. Middle school came tumbling around the corner for me. It was around this time that I decided I was going to mirror my father’s footsteps and play basketball. In my family I always heard these stories about him, as if he were a god to this sport. The season was right around the corner, and I knew that I had many things to prove. I knew this could be the chance to show him what he has teaching me is paying off.
Most importantly, I just wanted to see a puddle surrounding my father as he watched me play from the bleachers, drowning in satisfaction. At my first home game, the gym was overcrowded with people still filling the bleachers. I was the sixth man on the team, so I had spare time to spot my father in the crowd. I could easily spot him because he would be the only guy in the crowd wearing a referee jersey which he wore to all of my games. My teammates would laugh at him constantly, but I knew that it was in my father’s genes to be different. It was a hassle trying to get my feet to stop tap dancing as I sat down on the bench.
I was anxious to get in and contribute as much as I could. As I stepped foot on the court, my mind flooded with all of the positive things my dad would tell me the night before my games. I knew that this will push me to keep going until the buzzer sounds. “Just go out there and enjoy yourself while you’re playing. You won’t make every shot, but as long as you tried is all that matters. ” The game gets down to the last 10 seconds. We’re down by two, and the ball is in my hands. I take the final shot attempt to win the game, and it goes in and bounces right back out. My heart was crushed.
I had the chance to win and I blew it. Trying not to slip on my own tears, I walked back to the locker room and got ready for the ride home. Car rides with my father after a tough loss were always the best. I had time to think about the game, as the cool night breeze brushed against my face. There was always an abnormal moment of silence between the two of us as we were on our way back home. Disregarding the dead silence, I could somehow feel love being transported in the air. It was as if he knew what was going through my mind. Then the ice finally broke. “Son, you did a good job out there tonight.
Hopefully they switch my schedule around so I can come to your other games. That’s why I tell you to get good grades in school because you don’t always have to win in basketball. You can also win at life. Now when we get home don’t forget to clean your room. ” Afterwards, he smiled at me and gave me a pat on the back. This conversation launched an everlasting bond between me and my father. Through the tough discipline I received, he always displayed a caring side even when I felt like a disappointment to him. He enlightened me on many instructions I could use in my future at an early stage.
I may have lost the game, but I still feel like an Olympic gold medalists. I had a great father figure, and I knew nothing could compare to that value. For now, everything was going good. Until I received a phone call that’ll change my mind set forever. I was walking in the house from playing basketball outside, and realized that I had five missed calls from my mom. “It has to be an emergency” I thought to myself. I called her back immediately, and I listened to her inform me about a car that had just hit my dad while he was on his motorcycle. Everything around me started to slow down.
I didn’t know how to react to this situation. Was this the end? Did God send me my father to provide a lesson to me, then take him back away? With a million questions running through my mind, I ran upstairs with tears falling from my eyes. It was a sorrowful feeling that I received because I didn’t want the cape to be taken off of him this early. I started to reminisce on all the times I spent with my father, hoping I would be able to make many more. I tried to get myself to look at it from a positive perspective but it wasn’t working. “(Sobbing) What if he can’t wa… watch me graduate. ”
I continued to weep in my room until I heard the garage go up. As I patiently waited on the door to open, I seen a bright light come in, along with a big shadow. The shadow gave me the feeling that I was in a comic movie, waiting for the superhero to make an appearance. It was my father! I could see the pain he was feeling through his eyes, as red as a vampires teeth. With his helmet in hand (thank God he wore one), he walked in slowly and found his way to the bedroom. My mouth didn’t have the courage to blurt out any words. Times Square on New Year’s Eve in 1999 can describe the excitement inside my mind. As long as he’s home safe”, I said to myself.
This drastic situation had a huge effect on me, because I never had anyone close to me like him leave un-expectedly. I have learned now to appreciate everything that you have in front of you, for it may not be here tomorrow. It was my last semester in high school and graduation day couldn’t come any faster. I knew I was becoming the second person in my family to attend college, which was something to be proud about. Even though I didn’t get the chance to mirror my father’s basketball skills, but now I will have the chance to win at life.
As I was getting dressed, my father walked into my room to speak to me. “Congrats, Kendall. Just remember what you’re going to school for and find something that you’ll like doing. I didn’t get the chance to go to college because we didn’t have that kind of money. Your mom and I want you to have a better life than we did. Afterwards, pick a place you want to go eat at and we can go. ” I smiled in the mirror, as I put on my tie with fulfillment. Maybe this was what all the discipline was for? The row in front of me was leaving to receive their diplomas.
I couldn’t easily spot a guy with a referee shirt in the crowd, but I knew his eyes were locked on me somewhere. As the principle called my name, I smiled and a tear fell out of my eyes. I knew my father was proud of me and all that I have accomplished so far. The transformation from a kid with an orange check, to a high school graduate with a green check took much drudgery. I looked back on everything and I appreciated everything that I had experienced. Each part of my life was a building block towards my future. My father was an epitome of the perfect superhero father.
His profound and heartfelt teachings have gave me a deeper influence that can never be measured. Since childhood, Father always helped me do my homework, gave me a place to stay, and always gave me money to go shop with. If I ever asked for anything, he gave it to me as long as I completed what was asked of him. I could use his positive speaking about life as a map, in order to guide and keep me in the right direction. It made me acknowledge that great things will take patience and dedication. It wasn’t until my teenage years that I realized the enormous impact my father has had on my life.
From watching me take my first steps to watching me receive my high school diploma, I can only imagine how difficult my life would have been without a father figure. Without any parental guidance in his life, I know my father had many questions about life and the journey itself. The situation alone has taught me to trust my instincts and to not be afraid to walk into the darkness, for the light will soon be visible. Beginning my first semester in college, I know nothing will be easy but I’m determined to make it for the man who gave his life to me. I have set many goals for myself in which I plan to obtain.
Even if I don’t obtain them, I know that there will always be an alternate decision. In my near future, I also plan to provide the same comfort and discipline I learned from him to my future children. If I could give my father a dollar for everything he has taught me, I would pay him a $1,000,000 in hugs. Maybe one day I will actually be able to pay him back? Well, Money or any material things can never match the price of love and appreciation. I know that soon it will be time for him to take off his cape, but no matter where he is he will always be by my side, ready to rescue.