This I Believe

Jazzy - Grand Junction, Colorado
Entered on November 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death, family, respect

I believe in fate, which would generally imply that I believe in a destiny that was programmed into me before I was even conceived. It would imply that the life I am currently living was determined by someone other than myself, but that is not what I believe. I believe in a fate that is controlled by no one but myself. I believe that as soon as I took my first breaths I was determining the course I wanted to take, I was deciding to breath and to live, I was deciding the values I wanted to uphold, and I was deciding connections I shared with others.

When I was nineteen my brother decided that he no longer wanted to be a part of life. He decided to tell our family that he loved us, but he just didn’t see the point in living anymore. He didn’t have the time he needed to do what he loved and wanted to do. Life took too much time, so he left it behind.

I thought that God must hate me to take away someone that meant so much to me. My parents knew God hated them. They felt that they had done everything in their power to provide emotionally, physically, and spiritually for their family, but they must have done something wrong because God forgot them. I watched in horror as they reviewed every aspect of their involvement in my brother’s life. “We should have made sure he was going to his psychologist; we should have insisted that he take his medication; we should have made him stay on his volunteer mission in Bulgaria; we should have insisted that he complete school while living at home; we should not have pushed him so hard in his music and schooling.” I heard and saw their confusion and doubt and I hated it. My parents blamed themselves for my brother’s choice.

The months that followed were filled with pain, suffering and occasional visits to a psychologist. It was difficult to remember that it was not my parent’s fault that my brother left. It was not my fault that he left. It was not his psychologist’s fault that he left. And it was not God’s fault that he left. It was his fault that he left. My brother chose to leave. He decided when and where he wanted to go. He decided his fate, and because I respect the decision to decide, I respect my brother’s choice.