This I Believe

Daniella - West Palm Beach, Florida
Entered on October 12, 2006

Sometimes, we take things for granted. And when we do, we realize how important it really was once it’s gone. I learned this in one of the hardest ways possible. I always took people for granted, especially my grandfathers. Never once did I stop and really appreciate what I had. I had two great men, both knew a lot and I could have learned from both of them. My paternal grandfather was a rabbi and my maternal grandfather was a dentist. Now even though being a dentist doesn’t sound like my grandfather would have been awfully knowledgeable as my other grandfather. But I could have learned so much more from both of them if I had really just taken the time to really appreciate them.

But one day, a few weeks after my maternal grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, my mom got a call from my grandmother. She said, “You better come quick, we’re losing him.” Not knowing what she said, I didn’t know why my mom was going nuts and rushing out of the house, but I knew something was wrong. About 20 to 30 minutes later, my neighbors came over because my mom had asked them to. She called us and told us that he passed away before she even got there. My brothers and I were heartbroken. However, the worst was not yet to come.

A few weeks before I celebrated my bat-mitzvah, I got a call from my dad. He asked for my mom, telling me it was urgent. He told her he was getting on a flight to Israel. My other grandfather just passed away. I was crushed. It seemed so surreal. He was really ill though, and none of us knew how long he would survive. I don’t remember if he was in a coma, but all I knew was everything I once knew has finally come crashing down.

Now, without two of the most important people in my life here with me anymore, I’ve learned the most valuable life lesson anyone could ever learn. The way I learned it showed me how to become a better person and to help other people. So I believe that everyone should appreciate what they’ve got. No one ever knows how long things will be around for. And once it’s gone, you’ll realize how important it was in your life and how much you really do need it.