A coal miner’s daughter forbids him from attending her graduation party because she thinks he’s ‘dirty.’ He still attends and addresses her on the mic, revealing something that makes her cry and regret everything she told him.
“Okay, I’ll call you later…dad’s come,” 18-year-old Sabrina hung up on her friend as soon as she heard her dad Pete, a coal miner, park his van in the garage.
She kept switching channels on the TV, trying to escape Pete’s attention. She was hoping he wouldn’t ask her about her upcoming graduation that was scheduled in two days.
Sabrina didn’t want Pete to attend because she was ashamed of his appearance. She feared her dad would amass negative attention for looking ‘dirty’ and smelling of coal and sweat…
“Hey, sweetheart! Look what I got for you,” Pete said as he entered, sounding happy.
Sabrina was surprised but held herself back. Not that she didn’t like surprises, but she hated seeing her dad’s blackened face and hands. She never allowed him to touch any of her things and dirty them.
Pete understood Sabrina well. He’d been doing it for several years, ever since she became motherless. So he gave Sabrina her space and respected her boundaries, leaving the two packages on the table instead, saying, “Sweetheart, I hope you love them!”
Once Sabrina saw her dad was out of sight, she quickly unwrapped the box and found a gorgeous dress inside. She loved it and started blushing. Then she opened the other box and saw an expensive suit in it.
“Thanks for the dress, dad. But for whom is this suit?”
“It’s for me, honey! I have to look amazing…it’s your graduation, after all!”
Do not be ashamed of those who devoted their lives to you.
Sabrina pursed her lips in frustration. She threw the box and, in a stern voice, said: “Dad, I don’t want you to come. All my friends and their parents will be attending. I don’t want them to laugh at me after seeing you, alright??”
A grave silence sprawled around Pete as he walked out of the washroom, wiping his face. He was shocked, and Sabrina’s words hit him like a bag of bricks.
“What did you say?”
“Dad, my friends’ fathers are from reputed backgrounds. They are all rich and look like celebrities. I don’t want you standing among them like a…like a mess…dad, I hope you understand. No matter how well you dress, anyone can easily guess you are a coal miner by just looking at your dirty face and hands. I don’t want them to laugh at me. Please don’t come to my graduation.”
Pete was so hurt because he was looking forward to attending the event.
“But thanks for the dress. I love it!” Sabrina went to her room and slammed the door shut to try the dress, leaving behind Pete with more than just heartbreak.
Pete thought Sabrina was too young to understand his love for her. “She’s still a little girl!” he consoled his broken heart and decided to still go to the grad party with a tear-jerking surprise he’d already planned for her.
On the day of the graduation, two days later…
“Darling, shall I at least drop you at your school?” Pete asked Sabrina. She looked so pretty, and he was so proud she was finally graduating.
“Drop me?? No need, dad. My friend Dave is coming to pick me up in his car. I don’t want to spoil my dress riding in your dirty van.”
“Alright! Have a lovely day, sweetie!”
“And dad, don’t come, alright?? I trust you won’t. Bye…see ya!”
Pete waited for Sabrina to leave so that he could get ready fast and attend the event.
“How can I miss such an important day in my daughter’s life? I have to be there!”
Moments later, Pete arrived at the venue and sat in the seating area for the parents. He cheered as students were awarded. He couldn’t wait to see Sabrina get hers.
“Next, we call Miss Sabrina Parker!” the host announced.
Pete ran up to the front with his phone and started filming as Sabrina received her diploma. He was so happy, but Sabrina was shocked when she saw her dad.
“Congrats, darling!” Pete kept shouting from below the podium. “I’m so proud of you!”
But Sabrina didn’t smile or react. Instead, she groaned and joined her friends. She couldn’t wait for the ceremony to be over so she could fume at her dad for coming.
Suddenly, she heard the host say, “Mr. Parker, can we please have you on the stage.”
Sabrina was stunned and didn’t understand what was going on as she saw Pete walk over to the podium.
“Why is he calling my dad to the stage? Oh no…what’s going on?”
Pete happily walked to the stage and took the mic.
“Thanks, Mr. Lauren! Good evening, ladies and gentlemen!” Pete began. “Can we have the slideshow, please?!”
The audience and Sabrina were stunned when the hall was dimmed, and the projector rolled. Pete had made a beautiful video with pictures of him and Sabrina from when she was little up until before the graduation. The day before the graduation ceremony, he’d met with the principal and staff, explaining his intention to surprise his daughter. He was thus given special permission to pull a surprise on Sabrina as soon as she received her diploma.
“I love my daughter. Sabrina, I’m so proud of you. I hope your mother would be equally proud if she were here today. Emma, if you are here by any chance, you can see for yourself! You told me I could not raise my daughter alone, but there can be no other dad on earth who is as proud as me now. Congrats, Sabrina…we did it!”
Sabrina melted into tears after seeing the video. She ran to her dad as everybody gave a standing ovation to him. She hugged him and cried, “Thank you so much, dad! I’m sorry.”
Pete wiped her tears away and enjoyed the rest of the evening. On their way home, Sabrina recalled Pete talking about her late mother. His words worried her.
“Dad, why did you say mom would be proud if she were at the grad party? She’s long gone, and how will she attend if she’s dead?”
Pete looked at Sabrina and laughed. “Your mother is not dead, honey. She is alive and lives in this town!”
Sabrina was shocked because she was told her mother had died. But it was a lie, and Pete never wanted his daughter to know the truth about her mother until she came of age.
“WHAT? MOM’S ALIVE? Dad, why didn’t you tell me?”
Pete realized it was time to make the biggest confession of his life.
“Because your mom never wanted you. She told me that your birth father had died. She told me it was up to me to decide if I wanted to raise or leave you in the shelter.”
It turned out that Pete and his wife Emma had divorced when Sabrina was little. Before moving on, Emma told Pete their daughter was not his. Pete was heartbroken and decided to raise the girl as his own.
“I could not see you as someone else’s child. You were my world, and you are my everything today,” Pete cried.
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Hearing this, Sabrina threw herself in Pete’s arms and cried on his shoulder. “You’re not my real father??”
Pete hugged her back. “Darling, I may not be your birth father, but I don’t love you any less. Forget what I just told you. You are always MY DAUGHTER regardless of anything and everything.”
“I’m sorry, dad. I feel ashamed of myself for hurting you. I called you ‘dirty’ and ‘smelly’ without knowing about your sacrifices for me. What would have happened to me if you didn’t step up for me and raised me? Please forgive me.”
Pete wiped away Sabrina’s tears, and they rode home, where he invited all his friends and neighbors to celebrate his daughter’s graduation.
Pete and Sabrina never talked about their past again. Surprisingly enough, Sabrina was not ashamed of her dad anymore. She was proud of him and realized he was not a shame but a great man who raised her with love and care when her mother abandoned her.
What can we learn from this story?
Do not be ashamed of those who devoted their lives to you. Sabrina was always ashamed of her dad Pete and thought he was dirty and smelly due to his work in the coal mine. She knew little about his sacrifices in raising her until he attended her graduation.
Do not use the sharpness of your tongue on your parents, who taught you to speak. While Pete was excited to attend his daughter’s grad party, Sabrina sternly asked him not to attend. She thought people would laugh at his looks and drag her to bad light.
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A boy wastes time playing video games instead of helping his mother at home. Life teaches him a painful lesson when he sees her taken away in an ambulance. Click here to read the full story.
This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only.