Love wins

David and Sarai Ramirez

David and Sarai Ramirez

Sarai Ramirez

“I’m glad about how far we’ve come. It took a lot of patience for you to trust in me again and to finally feel happy to come with me,” David Ramirez said.

   It all started going into 6th grade. I found out that my dad was talking to someone. It had been years since he had been in a relationship with someone. When he was on his own, I was happy but upset. I would be happy because he’d always have time for me and my sisters. We’d always go out places we’d never been to and experience new things. However, despite all the time we spent together, my father found himself alone during the holidays. I remember he had to drop me and my sisters back to my mother’s house. He saw that all my cousins were over. He wanted to stay but he couldn’t because my mother and he weren’t on good terms. I hated seeing my dad alone.

   I would say I was a “daddy’s girl.” He always made me happy until his girlfriend came into the picture. I got a weird vibe from her instantly when I first met her. She would take my father away from me and my sisters as much as she could. At the time, she lived in Wisconsin. My father would go over there to see her every weekend. Sometimes he wouldn’t pick us up because he was just so eager to go see her.

   My birthday was just around the corner. It was also my father’s weekend, the day of my birthday. I was so happy to spend it with him because I would finally have my father to myself for once. Later that day he called me saying he wouldn’t be able to come that weekend because he had to go to his girlfriend’s daughter’s communion. I instantly started crying to my mother telling her “I guess we are being replaced now. He doesn’t care for us anymore. I just wish I could have spent my birthday with him because I never spend it with him,” I said. 

   A couple of years passed and my father convinced his girlfriend to move to Michigan and come live with us. I wasn’t happy at all. That’s when things started to change. That’s when I would never want to go to my dad’s house. If I did I wouldn’t really talk to him; I would give him an attitude for no reason. The first thing he’d tell me when I would get into his car is “you’re not even going to say hey to me or ask me how my day was at work?” I would then say “No, that’s why you have your girlfriend.” He looked upset that I said that. I don’t blame him though because later I did end up feeling bad.

   My father ended up printing pictures of his girlfriend’s daughter’s communion with the date at the bottom. Every time I looked at that picture, I’d get upset because her communion was on my birthday, and the fact that my father missed his own daughter’s birthday for a girl he barely knew broke my heart. 

   I would always complain to my father about so many things. But he ignored me and tried to make my sisters happy even though we didn’t deserve it at the time. After how we treated him. 

   As time went by, I realized how badly I’ve hurt my father. It was not my intention to hurt him mentally. Sometimes at night, I would cry to my mother telling her “I feel horrible for what I’ve done. Why hasn’t he gotten mad at me or anything?” My mother told me he’s just trying to give me time to calm myself. 

   Years passed by and I was finally a freshman in high school. I was struggling a lot with my classes and the relationship I had with someone. I didn’t have anyone to talk to about my problems. My father knew something was up with me. He saw it on my face, he saw that I seemed lost. He picked me up one day from my mother’s house and just told me to open up to him. He said he wouldn’t get mad about what I did if I did something wrong; he just knew I needed someone to talk to. After telling him everything that I’ve been going through he gave me meaningful advice. I told him that night “Why are you being so nice to me and giving me all this advice after everything I’ve done to you?” My father told me “You are my daughter. I’ll always be here for you, you don’t realize it right now, but  I know the way you’ve been treating me isn’t who you are. I know we can fix this relationship, but you being able to trust me is a start.”

   My father ends up asking me why I have been treating him so badly. That made me think “Why did I treat him so poorly?” I told him “I just had anger towards you. I also felt jealous because I didn’t want me or my sisters to get replaced. Seeing your girlfriend try to take you away from us broke my heart because I tried my best to get along with her. She just never gave the same energy back. Having to see her instantly brought my mood down. I ended up putting all my anger out on you for choosing her over us,” He looked at me upset and told me “The last thing I wanted you to feel was that you were getting replaced. I never wanted you to feel like that. I care for you and your sisters so much that no one will ever replace you guys.” He came towards me for a hug. 

    It took a long time for me and my father to get where we are right now. Everything he did for me was worth it in the end. He was able to gain my trust and I was able to gain his trust. He’s the first person I’ll go to if I need some advice and comfort. We are always checking up on each other because I know older people go through a lot as well, not just us teens. Every morning he’ll send me a prayer over text or a funny video just to give me a good start to my day. Something I’ll do for him is come along with him to his side job just to keep him company and help him finish his work. He always tells me he enjoys coming because my being there is a stress reliever. 

   After having that conversation with my father, it made me realize a lot of things. I should be grateful for him still being there for me and not giving up on me the first week. I would give him the ugliest attitude. I’m glad he had a lot of patience with me because if it weren’t for all that patience I wouldn’t be close with my father like I am right now. I am now happy for him. I don’t have to worry about him spending holidays and events by himself. I’ve now taken his advice, and I give others time to process things and give them a chance because maybe the second time around it’ll be different.