By Erin Pad
I didn’t really grow up in a broken home, however my parents divorced when I was just ten years old. It was really hard for me. Soon thereafter my little sister was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and my dad and little brother were best friends leaving me as the odd one out, the black sheep. I got little attention from both my parents because of my sick baby sister and even less from my father. In some ways, I feel that’s why I started acting out. I wanted attention, regardless of whether it was negative or positive. I just wanted to be noticed. My dad would occasionally come to my soccer games, or swim meets and cheer me on or he would buy me things to show his love. But I didn’t want material things, I wanted to spend time with him, I wanted his affection and most of all I wanted a dad that I could talk to about what was going on in my life.
You all may know him as program coordinator at Beit T’Shuvah, but to me he is like a second father. Brandon Berry has been a persisting role model in my life. He inspires me to be a better person when I’m having a bad day. He gives me hope when I feel like life won’t ever go on. He takes time out of his day to ask how I’m doing and maybe to someone else that’s a normal everyday task, but to myself that shows me how much I matter to another person. Brandon Berry, this is my gratitude to you. I thank you for all the times, you’ve let me sit in your office listening to me cry and all the times you’ve helped me through my struggles (and we both know, I’ve had MANY throughout my stay at Beit T’Shuvah), but without you there to encourage me to do the things I was afraid to do or give me hope when I was hopeless, I don’t think I’d still be at Beit T’Shuvah living a very fulfilled life.