This I Believe

Cynthia - Vista, California
Entered on June 1, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in saying “I love you” and openly stating appreciation for people who I care for.

Ever since I was five, my dad has lived in New York while the rest of my family lives in here in California. I’ve seen him three to four times a year (mainly during the holidays), depending on the flexibility of his work schedule. Basically, I’ve lived with my mom for the last twelve years, and have had to learn a lot of things alone. So whenever my Dad came to visit us, even though we always had fun, I always felt like I shouldn’t get too attached when he was there, because he would leave soon and I would end up missing him too much. Hence, I never really expressed my true appreciation or an “I love you” to him.

However, during the September 11th tragedy, it was when my Dad was visiting us. I remember watching the news with him—and realizing how it could he could have been one of the victims. You see, my dad works for an international bank, and he usually has meetings in the World Trade Center.

This thought changed my thinking process and on look on life. I realized that if it had been him, I never would have had the opportunity to really say how I love him and I appreciate all that he had done the past few years—this includes constant trying to maintain a relationship with his family, with distance as an obstacle.

From that moment on, whenever my Dad came to visit us, I always made sure to spend as much time with him, and always express my love and appreciation for him. Due to that eye-opening experience, it not only applies to my dad, but also to all of my friends and family. It has led me to question “What if I never see that person after today?” Life is short and unpredictable, and can’t be controlled—however, I’ve learned to always express my gratitude and live every day thanking for that time spent with the people in my life. Its not that I go over the top and constantly shower that person with appreciation and thank yous—rather, it’s the effort and time taken to express such feelings that truly hold its value.