This I Believe

Trevor - West Palm Beach, Florida
Entered on October 15, 2006

Throughout life, when someone barks out: “that’s not fair!” Nine times out of ten, “life’s not fair” will immediately follow that statement. This is the norm; I’ve learned through repetition that “life isn’t fair”. But what does this actually mean? How is life not fair? Life isn’t fair just because things don’t go your way. There’s more to this statement than what meets the ear. I’ve learned that life can deal a crappy hand through the trials and tribulations of my father. My father has taught me that life isn’t fair; it never was and never will be.

Today, I woke up to the sound of hydraulics maneuvering their way down the stairs. Step after step, one leg in front of the other. Pffft…Click. Pffft…Click. This is what I hear every morning as my father slowly makes his way down to the kitchen. I often ask if he’s checked the air pressure lately. He always responds with an unenthusiastic “yeah”. It seems as though Paul Falk, a recently retired man, is living his life as a rerun, everyday exactly the same. He never really ventures into new territory and he’s slowly forgetting about the importance of the gym. Ever since a couple years ago, he’s aged faster than anyone I’ve ever seen.

It all started off with him living life in his car. Recently divorced, he had nothing and turned to alcohol. After a car accident, an infection annihilated his pancreas, giving him diabetes type 1. Fast forward to 3 years 4 years ago, an infection in his foot left him no other option than to amputate his leg. The leg he had come to know for the last 50 years of his life was about to no longer exist. As I visited him, post-surgery, I stared at my father, morphine pump in hand, I could only think about how it wasn’t fair. He never did anything to lose his leg. I soon thought the exact thing a couple months later as he lost the other one. It’s not fair. Life isn’t fair. Why Dad? I held my father’s hand as he lay there, wishing I could give him one of mine. I was only thirteen.

Less than a year later, he was up and walking. One step at a time, he learned to live life as “disabled”. What happened to the fit, young, short-tempered man that I used to know? He’s now the loving, caring, short-tempered father figure that teaches me life lessons everyday. Thank you Dad. Thank you for teaching me that life is not fair. That it never was and never will be. This I believe is the most important thing to keep in mind as I hope for the best and prepare for the worst.