This I Believe
When I was in third grade, my world was turned upside down. At the beginning of the school year, my grandfather was diagnosed with liver cancer. It was discovered that the cancer had spread to other organs and the doctors told him he had on a few months to live. They also told him that if he took radiation therapy, the cancer would be stabilized and he could prolong his life for maybe a year. But with radiation, comes more sickness, him getting even weaker. My grandpa did not want to suffer any longer than he had to and rack up more medical bills for his family. As time went on, he gradually got weaker, but my family was there for him constantly. We spent as much time with him as we possibly could. We drove him to the pastures where his cattle were grazing. You see, my grandpa was a farmer all of his life and he loved feeding and caring for the cattle. Whenever he would see the cows and their babies, his face would light up and he would be happy for the rest of the day.
When my grandpa was put on bedrest, he became increasingly agitated and sometimes unhappy. This continued until finally one of my cousins put up a picture of his cattle and we noticed he was happier when he could look at them whenever he wanted.
At his funeral, one of the pictures displayed around the casket was that picture of the cows. Everyone that walked by commented on how content he looked. I think it was because he liked being close to the picture and now that he was not suffering anymore, he could look down and see them from heaven.
I believe in the power of familiarity in times of suffering and the effect that it can have on people. Just think, your home is your home because it is where you are most of the time. You are familiar with everything in it. When you are sick, all most people want to do is lay in their own bed, surrounded by the things that are comfortable to them. When a person chooses a field of study, most will not pick some obscure job that they know nothing about. They will pick a job they like and are familiar with; this job will provide them with a secure feeling, even when they are having a bad day. I think that all human beings will go back to the place that familiar to them in the end and we will allow those comfortable, reliable things to sweep us away to a better time and place.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.