This I Believe

Jaclynn - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on February 7, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Now is the Time

My Aunt Marie was admitted into the hospital two weeks before Christmas. She had had a massive stroke and was in a coma. It seemed to have come out of no where but this was not her first battle with a stroke. My aunt didn’t have the best of health. She had had a stroke almost three years prior but had almost fully recovered from it. I think many of us felt like she was going to pull through just like the first time. But after a couple weeks passed and she didn’t show signs of improving, we all had to come to the realization that she wasn’t going to make it. When doctors were positive that she would not ever recover from her current state, she was taken off the life support system and pronounced dead shortly after. We all were completely grief stricken. The last time I had seen her was Thanksgiving. I remember thinking how well she looked. She seemed really happy and full of life. If only I had known then that in less that a month she would not be around, I would have told her so many things. But it was too late now. I would never get to talk to her again, never get to hug her, and never get to see her sitting at the table at my grandmother’s house on holidays. She was gone.

It was then that I made a conscious effort to show the people around me, all my family and friends, how much they meant to me. I could never tell Marie that I loved her again but I could tell everyone else that I loved them. Marie’s death made me realize how short life can be. I had never lost anyone really close to me before and when you are young, it’s easy to think that the people you love will be around forever. It’s easy to assume that the way things are is the way that they will always be. The truth is, however, one minute you can be here, laughing and talking, and the next you aren’t. Any second you could loose the ones you love. I know that is depressing and tough to hear but it is reality. Life is beautiful but it is not forever and because of this, I don’t ever want someone I love to die again without specifically telling them how I feel about them. I have never been very affectionate to my loved ones but I now believe that it is imperative that I show the ones I care about that they are cared about. I have to show them that they are important, that they are appreciated, and that I am thinking about them. And more importantly I feel I need to show them now, in the moment. It’s not something that can wait until later because there may not be a later.

Deep down inside, Marie must have known how I felt about her, but having not told her the last time I saw her, I will never know. It is something that I will always regret and can do nothing more about. But I can take new steps to insure that it will never happen again. I believe now is always the time to tell everyone in my family, “I love you.”