This I Believe

Frank - Renton, Washington
Entered on June 16, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, love

I believe in life.

As our time as high school students comes to an end, we are all reminiscing of the past, present and anticipating the future. In many of your final speeches you have talked about doing the best that you can do to please your parents, family and friends and make them proud. I to have been reminiscing, wondering and striving to be all I can be. (But not in the army) This is life. But I have recently had a life changing experience that has changed my perspective on life as a whole.

On Sunday this past weekend my parents and I went to visit my 94 year old great grandma. On the way to the home where she has been “living” for the past two years, my mom told me that my grandma would not be awake; we would not be talking to her. She said that she hasn’t been awake or eating or even getting out of bed for about a week. What is “living” to you? To me living is not sitting in bed all day, sleeping 22 out of 24 hours a day and not remembering the loved ones that you are about to leave behind, the loved ones that strive to make you proud.

As we were in the room, my mom sat on the bed aside her grandma who she had been so close to at one time. She began to talk to her, telling her she is a good women, letting her know one of her great grandsons is about to graduate, telling her she loves her. She lies there still, so peaceful. 94 years old and not a wrinkle on her face and not a grey hair on her head. This made me think about the way I will live my life, if I will live this long, if I will stay so healthy until my last days. I stand there motion less, no emotion showing with so much emotion flowing. My dad was out talking to the nurse.

My dad enters the room with the nurse. She says “let’s see if she will wake up.” The nurse gets right in my grandmothers ear. “Muriel… Muriel.” A quiet, vague response, “Ha?” “Muriel.. You have visitors” “I do?” She looks up with a blank stare. The nurse leaves the room. We were all aware that her memory was pretty bad, but I was not prepared for what would take place.

My mom held her hand, talking to her, telling her it was Donna, her grand daughter. My mother says with desperation, “Grandma, its Donna, your grand daughter…. Grandma its peanut, its Donna your grand daughter.” A tear drops my eye. I wanted to tell my mother to stop, but I stood there just as lifeless as my grandmother. My mom strokes her head, “you are a good women grandma, you have a good family, I love you grandma.” I stand there staring in my grandmothers eyes, crying silently. All of a sudden a light came from her lifeless eyes. She says “Donna?.. Oh Donna honey” followed by a small laugh. My mom started hugging my grandma and crying out of happiness. I began to gently cry again.

After about a half hour she remembers me. I told her that I miss making chocolates with her. Another small laugh followed by a single tear. I was filled with so much emotion and so many feelings. All day asking my self, “when I am at my life’s end will I have so many loved ones, will I have left behind a legacy that I can be proud of. Asking my self, what is living?

I know what life and living is. Life is what so many of us have talked about. Starting another chapter in our lives, striving to have many more chapters. Eventually, coming to the end of the novel. Life is a novel. This is my life.