Fall 2011: "Bridging Differences" Powerful Voice Winner Lourdes Escobar

Read Lourdes' essay about her struggle with the choices her father has made.
Sheppard Family.jpg

Thomas Sheppard in 1988 with Kate and her baby brother Alex. 

Lourdes Escobar is a student of Brett Dugge at John Muir Middle School, a Los Angeles Unified school operated in conjunction with the nonprofit LA's Promise. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Why My Dad's Going Green," by Kate Sheppard. Lourdes is a Powerful Voice winner of our Fall 2011 writing competition.

Writing Prompt: Has anyone close to you—a friend or family member—chosen to distance themselves from you or sever the relationship because of what you believe? What was the issue? How did you feel? Were you able to resolve it?

Afraid to Choose

My dad has an issue with drinking a lot. When he drinks beer or wine he gets hyper, and sometimes my mom and his friends cannot control him. He either starts cursing at people or tries to hit and curse at my mom. My mom wants to go back to Guatemala, where her parents and the rest of her family are, and where it’s safer.

My mom thinks it’s dangerous here in Los Angeles because there are a lot of shootings, and there are a lot of people dying. She says, “I want to go with my parents because I miss them, and if I die I want to die in my country where I was born. There at least I will have seen my parents for the last time.” That is why my mom wants us to leave.

When I read “Why My Dad’s Going Green” in YES! Magazine it made me think about how my family and I are having problems. I just wish my dad and my mom got along. They don’t know how happy I get when they are together. I love both of my parents the same. I just wish my dad would stop drinking beer. I don’t want him to die, and I especially don’t want to leave him alone. I want to be with him all my life.

Why? Because he has my blood, and he took care of me since I was a newborn baby. He’s like a special gift to me. I can’t just let him go like nothing. I wouldn’t live one day without him. I love him, just the way he is and nobody is going to take me away from him.

I love my teachers, my friends, and family members. I don’t want to drop out of school. I want to graduate from middle school and high school and I would want to be able to go to college. This is where I belong, and I can’t let anyone take me away from here.

I need love from both of my parents, and I am not going to leave my dad. I definitely don’t want to leave my mom because she’s a gift that God gave me, and she’s pregnant, so this is very difficult. I don’t know what to decide. I just wish I didn’t have to decide. I wish I could have both of my parents, but I’m afraid I can only choose one of them. It’s not easy when your parents divorce. Well, maybe for you it is, but for me it’s not.

I can only have one parent guardian. It’s all because of my dad drinking beer. If he wouldn’t have the issue of drinking beer we would still be together as a family. My heart is broken into pieces—badly. 

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