This I Believe

Jessica - Palos Verdes Estates, California
Entered on March 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: purpose

I believe in fate. That everything happens for a reason. Call it karma; say its serendipity . . . whatever the name, I believe that every decision we make has a purpose, a purpose we may not yet understand.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, you missed your flight to New York City when you got a flat tire on the way. During your senior year of high school, you got rejected from your favorite college, so you wound up at another where you landed your dream internship.


You may argue that I believe in this inexplicable phenomenon in order to excuse the bad things that happen in my life. But sometimes these “bad” things just have positive consequences waiting to come forward.

Ten months ago, the weird, unknown power that seems to have control over us caused my dad to suffer a stroke. Alone. At night. In a New York hotel room. Three thousand miles away from home. A night of fear and weeks of visits to doctors made one thing very clear: my dad’s life had to change. He could not continue working ten hours a day and traveling two weeks every month. He could not keep a jar of M&M’s in his office.

My dad’s diagnosis of Diabetes and high cholesterol turned his attention inward, to himself. He suffered the stroke alone, and he would have to battle his disease alone. We offered emotional support, bought reduced-fat butter, and pumped his bicycle tires, but this was my father’s challenge. It took just one moment of not knowing if he would live or die to change his life completely. Over twenty pounds later, equipped with an entirely new outlook on life, my father is no longer a stroke victim. He is a Diabetes survivor. He is still the dad with the huge heart, just now it beats a little stronger.

It sounds strange to say, but I am glad my dad had his stroke. The stroke held a greater purpose than to say, “Eat more vegetables” . . . it caused him to cherish his life. Slow down. Enjoy.

The whole experience happened for a reason. A healthier lifestyle, a closer family relationship. One of them may even have been to reinforce my belief—that I believe in fate.