This I Believe

Sara - Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Entered on September 24, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, illness

Every Moment Counts

We all are going to die someday. It’s just a matter of time. Life span depends on a person’s health and whether or not they’re in the right place at the right time. Some deaths occur without notice, but I truly feel sorry for the people that know about their death and know that it’s just a matter of time.

My grandpa’s death is the anticipated kind, the one my family and I all know about. He used to be this amazing 74 year-old man that would love to work with his hands. He had insane ideas too. He once killed a wasp’s nest by the side of his house with a blowtorch because he didn’t feel it was necessary to call in the experts. He also loved to fish. He says that when he dies he wants to be cremated and his ashes flown over a lake where he had gone fishing with his sons. Whenever you are around my grandpa he always has a story to tell you. He loves to tell the story about the time when he went tubing down Boulder Creek and how dangerous and exhilarating it was.

So what happened to my grandpa? Cancer happened. I didn’t know how drastic the situation was until my mom told me that his medication wasn’t working. He was being used to test a new drug that only a few people in Colorado had tried. He developed a sickness in his throat from having too many antibiotics, but when he went to the doctors they gave him more antibiotics making his throat worse. Eventually it became so bad that he couldn’t eat, and when it finally cleared up, he weighed 120 pounds, which is 40 pounds less then when he started the medication.

I remember visiting him and my parents telling me that it might be the last time that I see him. It was early in the morning and we had sat down to breakfast when he started talking about his condition. I listened to every word that he said and how he believes that if he didn’t start to take the medication that he would be “fat and happy.” When everyone was done eating he began to talk to me. He said that he was angry because of the medication and that he couldn’t even look at himself in the mirror anymore.

I didn’t realize how important that conversation meant to him until we were driving home and I told my parents about it. That’s when I realized that every moment that my parents and I spent with him meant the world to him, even if we came just to sit down for breakfast. That’s why every time that I go to see my grandpa I want to make each moment last, because I know that he won’t be around forever..