Letter to the Editor

When you're the one left standing

Friday, June 15, 2007

Some people say that the hardest thing to do in life is to walk away from your family. But I've come to believe that it's harder when you are the one left standing.

When my parents brought me to the airport my flight was late. My dad left to take my mom to work, saying he'd be right back.

Unfortunately, airport staff sent me through security before his return.

I'll never forget the look on his face when he walked through those doors and realized that, though he could still see me, 10 feet, a piece of glass and two years separated us.

My cell phone rang. Dad's voice was choked. "I didn't get to hug my daughter goodbye."

I blew him a kiss, turned my back and walked away. He never saw the tears.

For nine months now I have been living in North Africa.

I have been liberated from my small-town views and experienced a few things that have changed my perceptions on life.

But some things don't change.

I wish with all my heart I would've gotten to say goodbye to my dad. I wish I could've wrapped my arms around him and squeezed for all I'm worth.

But sometimes life doesn't treat us to heartfelt goodbyes. Sometimes you're the one left standing. You're the one left watching as part of your world walks away.

I know some people don't know their family as I do.

But my greatest hope is that you wouldn't pass up the opportunity to hug your parents.

Don't wait for the day when they are just beyond your reach.

Happy Father's Day, Papa Bear. I miss you and Mom.

-- Kayla Guthrie is a 2002 graduate of McCook High School and the daughter of Marty and Jane Guthrie.

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