This I Believe

Matt - Des Peres, Missouri
Entered on August 21, 2007

About five years ago, my grandfather became sick and was admitted to the hospital. The hospital ran some tests and determined that my grandpa had cancer in his liver, on his bones, and that it was spreading to other parts of his body. Yet my grandfather held this cancer off for over six months as he would come home from the hospital, but become just as sick and have to go back in. This is why I believe in something called courage, or maybe it is better stated as strength.

You see, six months may not sound like a very long time for someone with cancer, but my grandfather had already had cancer at least 7 other times in his life. He worked with radiation for the Army during Vietnam and this is believed to be the cause of the cancers. But anyways, to me, the strength of my grandfather wasn’t the only surprising thing, but the strength of my grandmother, mom, and uncles who day after day returned to the hospital for the next wave of bad news. See, cancer wasn’t the only thing my grandfather had, he also had other ailments that doctors couldn’t find or couldn’t put themselves to tell him and so he suffered. But, my grandfather had his own fight, it was more the fight my grandmother didn’t put up that impressed me. Every day she spent at the hospital with my grandfather, curled up on one of those little cots answering his every call or demand. Throughout the stays in the hospital, he would call for useless things, but my grandmother would get it for him anyways. She looked terrible, extremely worn down and tired, but she never voiced this, she knew her husband was in the fight of his life and she was going to help him anyway possible. But her strength to put up with him day after day for over six months in this condition is what surprises me. You see, my grandmother had never really come across as a tough woman, someone who would bow to any and every demand. But I think and I believe that deep down inside, she knew she had to muster some kind of force some kind of energy to keep fighting alongside her husband. This is what I believe, I believe that every person has some strength or courage (maybe is the better word) buried deep down inside of them. Something that stays buried until the person knows it is time. And when it is time this strength bubbles up and turns this person into someone you have never seen before. This is what I believe; I believe everyone has this inner strength which remains buried until troubled times such as my grandparents’. That is why it is so hard for me to hear people say “just let me die” there has to be that rally inside that says “We can beat this one!”