By: Eric Leon Celi
Second Place, Grade 4-6 Division, 2010
Grade 5, Harriet Tubman ES
Teacher: Ms. Maria Samenga

The time when I bounced back from a difficult situation was when I found out that my dad had passed away. My mother sat me down one afternoon and she told me my dad was dead and had been for some time. This was very difficult for me for two reason. First, he was my real dad. I have been living with my step father for 10 years, but the one who died was my REAL dad. Second, I never got the chance to meet him. On top of all that, I was angry with my mom because she lied to me when she told me he was in Ecuador and that I would have a chance to meet him when I turned eighteen. She knew for a long time and didn’t tell me. It made me feel sad and angry. I was sad because I knew now I would never get the chance to meet him or to know who he was. Even though I was sad, I was still so angry because I didn’t understand how my mom could keep something so important from me! It hurt me that I was left out of something so big. My mom said that the reason she didn’t tell me was because she wanted me to be old enough to understand. That makes sense, but I wish that I had known so I wouldn’t have been looking forward to something that was never going to happen. I wish I could have had the chance to get to know him but I have shown resilience in this difficult time because I have come to accept that he is gone. It is not what I wanted, but life is not about always getting what you want. It is real, even if it is sad. My mom tells me that even though he is gone, I inherited many great things from him. It is as if he is always with me. I have his intelligence, work ethic and, most importantly, his heart. I am proud that I am like my dad, and I know he is always a part of me, even if I didn’t get the chance to meet him.