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Word Count: 823
Three times a week after school I go visit my dad When I enter the hospital room where he has lain in a coma since his accident my eyes often wander to the lone golf ball my mom placed at his bedside Just six months ago my father was driving a golf cart across the street that bisects the local golf course when he was hit by a car He suffered severe brain injury and the doctors have ruled out any possibility of him waking up again When I look at him lying in bed frail but peaceful as if he were asleep its hard not to dwell on the what ifs what if he hadnt played golf that day What if he hadnt been behind the fence when the black Camry plowed into it What if I still had the chance to ask all those questions that choke me up when I see him in the hospital I cant pretend that I have developed enough distance from the event to draw conclusions about life but I am already beginning to see myself in very different terms Ironically through this accident my dad has given a chance to face reality head-on Before the accident my relationship with him was warm but fraught with tension He never seemed satisfied with what I did and reprimanded me for every wrong step I took He had strong opinions about my hairstyle clothes friends and--above everything else--my academic performance When I was not sitting at my desk in my room he invariably asked me why I had nothing to do and told me I should not procrastinate He stressed that if I missed my teenage years of studying I would regret it later He didnt like me going out with my friends so I often ended up staying at home--I was never allowed to sleep over at other students homes All I remember from my past high school years
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