This I Believe

Nicole - Canaan, Maine
Entered on January 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death

Every Moment That Makes a Difference

I believe in spending every moment of my life making a difference. Not the difference that is made by cleaning up a park or by solving the AIDS epidemic and finding a cure, but the difference that I wanted to make in my dad’s life. Since age five I have been without my dad. That was when he and my mom got a divorce.

It was a raw, snowy April morning and I went to school, thinking it was a normal day. I staggered into biology and plopped down in my seat. A half hour into class, Mrs. Bolvin answered her phone. She told me that I had to go to the office. I walked in and Mr. Jarvais, the vice principal, told me to head to his office. He handed me the phone. “Hello?” It was my mom. She asked, “Are you sitting?” I replied, “Yeah, why?” She said, “Mike was just watching the news and saw that your dad was found dead in the woods by Colby College.” I thought I was going to faint. I started to shake all over and I just lost it in tears.

I only have a few vivid memories of time spent with my father, but I always felt like he made a difference in my life whenever I hung out with him. When I was about eight years old, I remember going on his boat and fishing in the Kennebec. He used to let me wear his bug-eyed sun glasses, which made me feel cool. We would go out on his boat for hours and catch fish, swim, and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The last time that I saw him was at my grandfather’s funeral. He did have the chance to say to me, “I love you and I want to spend some more time with you this weekend.” I replied, “I love you too and I can’t wait to see you soon.” I never saw him again, but I will always remember those words because they remind me to spend every moment of my life making a difference.

I have spent the last year thinking about his words and working toward my goal in life: to improve the lives of myself and others. Remembering my dad has made me want to continue learning about law, so that one day I can become a paralegal or even a lawyer. I’ve made a difference in my mom’s life and as well as my own because of my dad. I have helped my mom see that alcohol isn’t something needed to relieve stress and I have made myself see that I can really do anything that I strive to do.

No television show could have the difference that my dad did in the little time that I spent with him. I cherish every memory and word: the fishing, boating, or playing. I want to have that same kind of impact on others.

My dad taught me to spend every moment in my life making a difference.