As a kid, I dreamed of my parents getting back together. This dream died with my dad.
When I was a little kid, my parents got divorced. With few memories of the time they were together at the beginning of my life, I've only known life with them apart.
As a kid, I remember being hopeful that my parents would get back together, even though, realistically, that never would happen. I would go over to my friend's houses and see their "whole" families and dream of my family being like that. I imagined family dinners, vacations, and more.
This fantasy was strong when I was a child, but slipped to the back of my mind as I grew up and realized that my parents definitely did not have a future together. And, I hadn't thought of it until a few weeks ago.
I was sitting on my front porch reading when I heard my neighbors come outside. The older boy rushed outside with a basketball to his hoop and immediately began playing. His little sister ran over as soon as he made his first basket, loudly exclaiming that she wished to also play. The boy kept playing, trying to ignore her requests for the basketball, until their mom walked over and proposed that they all play.
Pretty soon after that, the dad came out, and the four of them began a basketball game. The little girl was absolutely thrilled with this, and was having the time of her life. Her brother seemed a bit upset at first, but he eventually began having fun too.
Sitting on my porch reading, I heard them all laughing and having fun together as a family. Even though basketball was not really my thing, I found myself growing jealous of my neighbors. There they were, a complete family, having fun together.
That's when I remembered my childhood dream of my parents getting back together. There my neighbors were, living out my dream, and they probably didn't even know how lucky they were. As I was thinking about this, another thought hit me: My dream was impossible now.
Even though this fantasy had been unrealistic before, it had been possible. Yes, the chances of it happening were slim to none, but I was able to hold onto that hope. Now, though, my dad was gone, so it could never happen. My family would never be whole. Little me would've been devastated.
I closed my eyes and listened to the family for awhile, until finally the kids got into an argument and went inside. As they closed their door, talking about different things, all I could think was: You have no idea how lucky you are.
Read Next: They Return on TV
Written by Natalie Adams, the creator of Teenage Grief Sucks. Photo by Natalya Zaritskaya.