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Dad's Influence

BY EMONI B.

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My father passed away in mid-September, 2007 in Kansas City, Kansas. At his funeral I had the feeling that he'd always be my guide, always letting me know what I should or shouldn't do. I was only seven, and felt that I probably just wasn't accepting his death, but something happened that made me believe otherwise.

My mother was taking her friend home from the funeral; it was my mother, her friend, my sister, and I in the car. I don't remember what it was about, but I think I was being a brat about something, like asking "Are we there yet?" or "Could we go to a restaurant?", to which she refused every time I asked.

This made me start acting brattier, I suppose, because my mom's friend started yelling at me and telling something to the effect of minding my manners and I shouted back. Normally I wouldn't mind if my mom said no, and normally I'm timid, so I would've listened to my mom's friend, but this time I didn't.

Then I sat in my seat with a huff and a pout, looking out the window. I saw my dad smiling at me! I don't think I was mistaken. I'm pretty sure it was him because no one else really dressed like him, especially in the urban area we were in. My dad owned a farm and dressed as such.

I looked back to see if it was really him, but I didn't see him! Maybe we were too far away to see him, or maybe people had blocked my view of him. I think grief was making me act so rude that day. I started to complain about the car ride taking forever again, and my mom's friend, being a loud mouth, started yelling at me. I yelled back, saying she wasn't my mother and stuff.

Then I did something I have never done in my life, and have never done since: I started to pull her ponytail -- and fairly hard. I was and still am a timid and polite person. Something influenced me -- almost possessed me -- to do it.

Finally, my mom thought it would be best for her friend to just take the bus home. So we dropped her off at a bus stop. My mom explained to me that my father never really liked her friend and that he was probably "with me" when I did that. Maybe he was smiling at me because I'd stood up for myself.

That's the last time I saw him, but for a few more days after the funeral I continued to feel his presence behind me or following me when I did something difficult. I had a grief counselor for about a year. The next time I saw my mom's friend, I got along perfectly with her, as my normal self would. Although I still feel a little vendetta with her, I figured my dad was now in the afterlife.

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