by Charlene Cotton
from Andalusia, Alabama
My hero is my dad. His name is Charles Cotton and he's 42 years old. He works for Ligon Trucking Company. He has been driving a truck for almost his entire life. He's usually gone all week and comes home on the weekends. Sometimes he stays out for two weeks at a time. Even though I don't get to see him as often as I wish I could, we remain very close.
My dad is the type of person who doesn't let you quit anything you start. I wanted to play the piano my whole life. One day when I was 11, while I was asleep, he went out and bought me a piano and brought it home. I woke up because he started playing on it. I was so excited. Then about a month later, I started piano lessons. I loved it. I would spend hours and hours learning how to play. Then it got boring. I was so tired of it that I asked if I could quit. He told me, "no." I was so mad at him, but I got over it. Now I have been playing for almost 5 years. I love it, and I'm glad I never quit.
I also sing now, and sometimes my dad can be my biggest supporter and sometimes he can be my biggest critic. He encourages me to do my best and to never give up, because he knows that it will all pay off one day. Even when I lose in a talent show, he encourages me and always makes me smile.
My dad is also musically talented. He has been playing the guitar for over 20 years. He loves music, and he loves to hear me sing.
We always go to the races every weekend too. Even though I have a boyfriend now, I still like to spend a lot of time with him.
He's always been there for me through the good times and the bad. I am the biggest daddy's girl in the world. If he's going somewhere, I always have to go with him. It doesn't matter if he's going to the parts shop, I have to be there. I love him with all my heart. He's the most wonderful person.