The System

A daughter without a father sounds and feels as if it should be a crime. Three years ago, I could never imagine my life without my daddy. Two years ago, he was ripped away from me by “The System.” The system that is supposed to help children in need. The system that is supposed to help families in trouble. The lying, murdering system that took my life in their hands and ripped it up into little pieces. Making it nearly impossible to put back together. But, being the daughter of a highly respected, very strong military man gave me the strength to do so. I had the greatest father a child could know. His inspiring life experiences influenced me to want to behold the world for all its worth. May 28, 2006, I never knew if even I would see another day. My heart was torn out of me as I watched whom I thought were my friends, stomp it without hesitation. Although my father was considered a saint in my eyes, a hero. He was far from perfect. Alcoholism consumed his life. It was to the point that his problem began causing him to blackout. He started doing things he was not aware of. Things a father should never do. Things that would scare his daughter, and they did. His problems were affecting me academically, physically and mentally. I was losing sleep and my trust for my daddy. I didn’t want to lose my best friend to his worst enemy. So, I decided to take a stand and spoke out. I told someone the beginning of what would only be a minute piece of a heartbreaking story. “My father is molesting me,” I told my English 9 teacher, “and it’s scaring me so much!” “I can help you,” she replied, “I have a friend whom I will speak with.” I felt relieved. I was sure that within a few weeks, my daddy would be well on his way to beating his disease of alcoholism. Never did I think I was so naive. Because, I was so, so wrong.

One week later, my mother receives a call from CPS telling her to come into the office with me the following day. She was so scared. She, unlike myself, knew exactly was what coming. When we arrived at the office, my mother and I were immediately separated. I was taken into a small room with a social worker and a tape recorder, and then asked to tell my story. I did as I was asked. Notably I stated many times that all I wanted was for my daddy to be helped. I knew he would never do such a thing. I was his world, his pride, his joy. To them, he was nothing but a helpless monster. They had their minds made up before I even spoke. The plan was set. They wanted him in jail for what he had done. All they needed were my words on tape and it was only a matter of time until they would get what they wanted. Had I known what was going to happen, I would have lied, or maybe not have spoken at all. After, our session, they took me to my paternal grandmother’s to stay. While I was there, watching TV and enjoying a conversation with my grandfather, the police were serving papers to my father stating that he was not to have contact with me. He left home that night. No one knew where he was going other than my mother. Most of all, no one had a clue what he was planning.

When I saw my mother the next day I was all smiles. I told her everything was going to be fine. I was going to help daddy get better. She simply smiled back and hid her fears. I’ve talked about the father-daughter bond. But, just as strong a bond is between a mother and a daughter. I knew something wasn’t right. I took my mom aside and asked her if everything was all right. “Daddy will be dead and it won’t be long”, she told me. I knew what she meant, and she was wrong. I wouldn’t ever let that happen. Not to my daddy, no! As soon as she left I sat down and wrote a four page letter to my daddy. I told him I was going to make everything okay. He was going to get better, we would be together again. I knew he was scared. He knew what happened to men in prison who were there for what he had done. He felt like he had reached a dead end.

My father served eight years in the U.S. Air Force. He was the first non-native Arabic speaker the branch ever had. Quite an accomplishment if you ask me! Knowing this, I mentioned to him in my letter that maybe he should run. He had the appearance of a middle-eastern man. He spoke the language fluently. He would be safe. I would see him again soon. Sadly to say, I didn’t realize it wouldn’t be as soon as I thought until I did see him again.

My mother gave him the letter the day CPS took me from my grandmother as well. They seemed to have a problem with my whole family. I was placed in a foster home that day. They were nice people, but I was not comfortable. I was in a group of strangers while I was going through the toughest time in my life. It didn’t seem right. The next day, I went to school. Third block came and I was playing basketball in gym. Then, the office aid came in with a slip for me to sign out. The coach handed me the slip. I read the name signed at the bottom. It was the name of my social worker. I knew something was wrong. I snuck my cell phone into the locker-room and called my mom. She said, “I’ll meet you all at the office.”, and quickly hung up. I left with the worker and we drove to the DHHR. My mom was in the same room where I had first given my statement. She wasn’t alone. There was a strange woman there with a name tag reading, “Cornerstone Psychiatric Center: Samantha”. “My gosh! What is going on?” I thought. They sat me down and my mother looked at me with blood-shot eyes. Her lips quivering. I knew. "We found daddy this morning.” she said. I screamed as if someone was trying to kill me. "Is he…” I said. “No, not yet.” she replied. I got up and ran for the elevator. I didn’t care if I had to run to the hospital, I was going to see my daddy. I had to save him. I promised him I wouldn’t let anything happen to him!

Once I got to the hospital I was still on a rampage to see him. I ran into the E.R. and asked for him. The receptionist directed me to the doctor who turned me away. “This cannot be happening!”, “They cannot and will not keep me away from my daddy!” I then went to the hospital chaplain feeling nothing but failure and despair. Beyond my knowledge, he was infact a member of the Ethics Board. About 15 minutes of my speaking with him, he and another man came to me and said, “We’ll take you to see your father.” I was elated! I sprinted to his door. They were still trying to stabilize him, which I did not notice first. I looked around to see my aunt and of all people, her friend, in the room with my daddy. I was infuriated. “How could she be in here, and I not be allowed?” This was beyond ridiculous. But, I let it go. I was with him now. They couldn’t take me away. Not again.

I stood by his side and ran my fingers through his hair. I told him that as soon as he came home, we would go fishing. It was our favorite pastime. I continued to talk about the future, and then noticed a tear run down his cheek. I knew he was in a coma, but I then knew he wasn’t gone yet. I could save him. I was going to save him. Unfortunately the social worker made me leave. I had to go back to my foster parents and stay. The next day, my mom called and said there was a change in plans. I was going to be with her! I was going home, finally! When she came to pick me up, the plans had changed again. We were being placed in the Women’s Resource Center. "But, why?” I asked. I was then shattered with the new that my daddy’s brother had threatened my mom. He said, “If I lose one, you lose one.” She knew he was talking about me. It was later I would find out that my daddy’s family blamed me for everything.

Day three in the hospital, no change. The doctor told us the machines wouldn’t keep him alive much longer. Because my mom had to go to the DHHR office to get me after they found him, my grandmother took the position of his power of attorney. It didn’t seem to matter to her though. When the time came, she told the doctor to give me the papers. I was to sign in order for them to unplug my daddy. I was supposed to save him, not kill him. It was all wrong. I was so hurt that she would put such a weight on the shoulders of a fifteen year old girl who was obviously at her breaking point. But, she did. I looked at my daddy. He looked so pail. There were massive bruises on his arms from the blood transfusions. There was a bandage on his head, and all I could hear was the machine breathing for him. For the first time in my life, my daddy did not look strong to me. I hated that. I knew he would, too. So, I signed the paper and said, “Assalam wa’a lacom, fee aman Allah. Ana uhbibik” (Arabic to English: Peace be with you, go with God’s graces. I love you.) Five minute’s later it was 12:17 PM, Sunday afternoon, May 28, 2006 and my father was dead. My best friend was gone.

June 2, 2006 was the day of his 21 gun salute. My father was Irish, so we had bag pipes at the site to play. Role call. “Staff Sergeant Randall L. Bailey…… Staff Sergeant Randall L. Bailey….. Staff Sergeant Randall L. Bailey.” Then, the horn. Then, the gun shots and finally, the flag was folded. It was all over. The only thing left to do were to scatter his ashes in the places he wished. But no, there was more. My daddy’s sister pulled me aside after all was said and done. She handed me a note. I knew who it was from. I looked at its condition. She had read it and by the looks many others had. How dare her. This was my letter, from my daddy. I couldn’t believe it. But, I read the letter. He had acknowledged some of the things I had written to him in my letter. He stated that he would never run. He also told me to take care of mommy, to persevere, and to always know he loved me. He signed it, “Daddy”.

Two months had gone by. Mom and I were safe, at home by this time. I was seeing three therapists. But, one day, I was going an hour from home to see a new one. I wasn’t sure why. On the way to see this new woman, my mommy told me why we were going. She said that the father I knew and loved was not my biological father. Once again, I screamed as if someone was trying to kill me. I felt as if my daddy had been ripped away from me twice. She then added that this was not her decision. “The System” demanded by court order that she tell me. They couldn’t put my daddy in jail, so they continue to torture me. Oh, how professional.

To this day, I do not and will not, trust “The System.” I may only be sixteen, but I plan on one day changing the corruption. Somehow, someway, in my father’s honor.

The System


Joined January 2008

  • Artist

Artist's Description

the sad truth of how the state took my father from me


life tragedy

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