Second Chances

Mar 9, 2009

Dylan Sanders - Lanphier High School
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

I believe that the greatest gift is willing to accept reality and allow for a second chance when times get tough. Everyone makes mistakes – usually hurting the people that they love the most. Nobody is perfect and it’s hard to understand the difference a second chance will make. Sometimes you have to accept reality for what it is worth and give a second chance, even when you don’t want to. This is what I believe.

Forgiving someone is one of the toughest feats in life, but if you do have a chance to forgive, accept reality and try for a second chance.

  When I was growing up times were very tough in and outside of my household. My parents went through a divorce when I was just two years old, splitting the family apart and disabling me from a proper father-son relationship. To add to the problems, my father was addicted to alcohol. I might have seen my dad six times out of the whole year until I was ten years old. He battled addiction every single day to the point where it wasn’t even worth seeing him. I had so much hatred towards my father because I didn’t understand how someone who barely ever saw his own son could diminish our relationship even more. At the time I didn’t comprehend the situation as well as I do now, not realizing that alcoholism is an actual disease. Our family never left his side though, and when he got remarried we took him to rehab. It took years and years for him to get better, but he did. It took me such a long time to forgive, but as I grew up and matured, I learned about the disease and found out that sometimes it is very uncontrollable. I am so thankful that I did forgive him; it opened new doors for my dad and I, and everything started to change for the better. It took almost four years for my dad to finally slow down and admit that he was an alcoholic, but even then he didn’t stop completely. It has been a long, drawn out process, but everything is changing and I’ve started rekindling my relationship with my father.

I will never forget what my dad did to the family because of his addiction throughout my childhood, but I have accepted reality and given him a second chance, which turned out to be the best decision I ever made. My forgiveness didn’t make it right, but proved to be a decision that allowed him to be a “real” father. He has grown tremendously and he is only getting better each day. Without forgiveness I couldn’t imagine how everything would have turned out. To this day I look back and understand that he wasn’t in my childhood as much as I would have liked him to be, but now that he has made progression and effort I can truly say that the second chance changed the both of us. Forgiving someone is one of the toughest feats in life, but if you do have a chance to forgive, accept reality and try for a second chance. Forgiveness; this is what I believe in.