This I Believe: I Believe My Father Watches Over Me

Jun 22, 2017

Sara Sette with her dad at her high school graduation in 2013. This photo was taken not long before he died.

I believe my dad watches over me.

On a Saturday morning four years ago, I awoke to a “good morning” text message from my dad. I picked up the phone to call him and just talk about life. We talked about my upcoming graduation party; he had been planning it for months. I could hear how proud and happy he was. We talked for about an hour and ended the phone call with an “I love you.” Little did I know that would be the last time I would ever have the chance to say anything to my dad. Just a few hours after the phone call with my dad, I received a call from my cousin. It was unusual to get a call from him and my heart sank. In that moment, I knew something wasn’t right. He said to me, “Something happened to your dad, he had a heart attack…… and he passed away.” I felt frozen, a chill ran down my back that sent goose bumps up my arms.

I lived away from home at the time and the drive back to my dad seemed like it took forever. I drank Pepto-Bismol the whole way because I was sick to my stomach. I wasn’t sure how to feel or what to do. I was questioning everything. Then I felt something touch my back followed by a soft whisper and a sense that everything was going to be “alright.” In that moment I knew it was my dad watching over me and saying good-bye. I was always unsure about the idea of spirits and the afterlife, until I personally experienced it.

Throughout the years, I have found reminders of my dad in everyday life. A song reminds me about the time we danced together in the living room practicing for my wedding. Or a smell reminds me of his warmth and love. I find reminders of him everywhere; a butterfly that passes a little too close, a cardinal that follows me every time I walk and the pennies I find in unusual places. I never expected to lose a parent at the age of 18, but these reminders have helped me get through it.

I now live a life full of love and possibility. I learned not to focus so much on the little things. I am a college senior graduating soon with a degree in biology. In science there are many struggles and triumphs, but with my dad watching over me, I know I can handle anything that comes my way. I believe in myself and my abilities because he believed in me. I believe in the life my dad would have wanted me to live.

Throughout college I’ve struggled with the loss of my dad, but I find with grief comes strength. I use this strength to live my life to the fullest, one day at a time. With each accomplishment, I can hear my dad cheering me on from the clouds. With each downfall, he is there to wipe my tears. I believe he is forever watching over me. 

Sara Sette just graduated from Lock Haven University. She’s originally from St. Marys, Pennsylvania, in Elk County.