My Amazing Hero | Teen Ink

My Amazing Hero

March 10, 2008
By Anonymous

‘August 06, 2007 was supposed to be a great day. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and I had everyone I loved with me, but we were all crying.’

The summer of 2007 was looking like a good one. I just started driving and my best friend was practically living at my house. We would go out and party every night, sleep all day, and do basically whatever we wanted. That freedom was short lived, though, and I was forced to stay home. Grounded. So, in this period of pure torture, I spent a lot of time with my dad, but I was unappreciative of what we had. They say “you never know what you have ‘til it’s gone.” Well, I learned the hard way. By the end of the summer I would realize how amazing and strong my dad was and see how important he was to me.

Growing up my dad worked a lot and I didn’t spend a lot of time with him. He had a routine that he followed everyday: work, sleep, dinner, sleep. That was just how it was. There were the times he would come to my softball games and when he taught me to drive that I was happy he was there for me. As I grew up, I really didn’t put that much of an effort into getting to know him. When I was grounded that summer, though, I was forced to be with him. (“Forced;” it’s funny that that’s my word of choice.) Anyhow, I got to know him as one of the bravest men ever. Even when he got sick, he acted like nothing was wrong and went on with his day to day life until it was too unbearable. He stuck it out and proved to me that he was just a regular guy, with the strength of a thousand men.

In early June, my father was diagnosed with cancer. He had fluid around his lungs and when they did tests they found out he had renal cancer in his kidneys that was spreading to his lungs. I was only 16 at the time, although I am not much older now, I still feel it hit me hard because I was so young. Everyone was optimistic that he would pull through, but I wasn’t. I had known cancer to be a deadly killer, so that’s what I was waiting for. I was waiting for him to die. Not because I wanted him to, but just because then he wouldn’t have to suffer. My dad was tough, however, and never verbally complained once, but when he cried I cried. He was okay for a while, still the hard worker he always was, and stayed okay for a few weeks. You would never know that this strong man was sick because he carried himself with such composure. He got the tumor on his spine removed, and everything was looking better. So much better, that my mom told me to go on and go on my trip to Mexico.

I had a blast in Mexico, especially since my mom and grandma told me everyday that my dad was doing well. They lied. When I got back from Mexico my dad was unresponsive and the cancer had spread to nearly all of his body. He could not talk to us, nor hug us, or anything, but I could still see the strength in his eyes. I was not as strong as him, though. My whole world seemed like it had imploded and I was stuck in the middle just screaming for someone to save him, but no one could. I did not understand why they wouldn’t tell me he was worse so I could come back and be with him. For the next week and a half I only visited my dad a few times and only for a short while because it was too hard to see him like that. He died on August 6, 2007, ironic for how nice it was outside that such a horrible thing would happen. It’s been seven months and 21 hours since he passed, and I still cry about him. We all do. Everyone and everything has changed a lot, but I think that his story has given me inspiration and hope that others with cancer will push on and that their families will not have to mourn their loss every day like us. I feel bad that I did not know my father better, but what I did know I loved, and will always remember him the way I got to know him that summer, as ‘My Amazing Hero.’

R.I.P. John Lee
February 6, 1945 – August 6, 2007

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This article has 1 comment.

on Dec. 15 2010 at 10:34 am
John Lee was so influential that just reading about him changed my life.