This I Believe

Samantha - Tucson, Arizona
Entered on May 18, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death

I believe it’s when people leave you that they leave their biggest mark.

Last week I saw this friend of mine Victor. He’s someone I’ve known for about 5 years, overall a great person. He’s one of those people who if you have to ask for anything, ask him, and he’ll help you. He’s the one who always stays up late talking or wake’s you up just to say hello. Victor’s the kind of person who cares about everyone else, even people he doesn’t know well.

On Saturday I found out that he was murdered the night before. He went out at 11pm and never came home. I’ll never see him again, never spend time talking to him. It’s unsettling to know that he’ll never be around again. But that one murder could easily have been two. Victor lives next to my other friend Alex, and her little brother and Victor were the best of friends. If Ian, her little brother, had been in a fight with their parents that night, his name would be next to Victor’s in the paper today.

In losing Victor, we’ve learnt that people have their most profound effect on us when they are no longer there. You see, Ian is a troubled kid, and perhaps he’ll be this way a little longer, but I think he sees how close it was to being him. It shows in how he calls to say where he is and shows up just to say hello. It won’t be an instant change, it’ll take time. But with Victor’s death, he’s trying to change.

When people leave, whether it is through death or relocating, it’s when they leave their biggest and most profound mark. I just hope that it doesn’t take them leaving for people to realize how much they mean to you.

After they leave you have to learn anew how to live without them. When they’re gone you get to see all the things they did for you; late night phone calls, homemade cookies, reminding you to eat, or taking care of you when you’re ill. It’s those kinds of things that you miss the most about them. Without them there you have to do those things for yourself and it’s hard because it’s all the things you never remember to do on your own.

All those times they gave you advice, you’ll remember. When you’re not supposed to do something, you’ll hear what they would tell you to do… Or when you’re lost; you hear them telling you what to do. That’s how they leave their biggest mark. I believe the biggest mark people make is when they leave, and that mark is the words they’ve shared with you.