“Priorities: A Work in Progress”

Aaron - Thornville, Ohio
Entered on November 14, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that there are many priorities that I must manage and the priority that I feel is optimum is family. My grandfather has dementing illness and one morning he went outside to do his normal routine of taking out the trash and burning it. Without remembering what he had done, he severely burnt his lower back and right hand. The doctor at the hospital told him that he had second and third degree burns on his back and that he would have to stay at the hospital for at least a week. When I went to go see him, all that he could talk about was his dog. He wondered about his dog, day and night. He wondered if he is doing alright, if he has been fed, and if someone has went over to play with him.

Although I am merely a work in progress, I feel that I have a long way to go to set my priorities straight. I know that my family is important, but I have a hard enough time juggling work and school into my life. I want to spend time with my family but at this stage of my life, it is hard. I try to work as much as I can to make money for college, even if that means very little sleep or very little time bonding with my family.

While my grandfather was in the hospital, he kept losing recognition of where he was at. He also had a hard time keeping track of who was in the room and who has came to visit him. I soon came to realize that my grandfather was getting old and there might not be many other chances that I get to see him. I then was his most frequent visitor at the hospital. I put work and school aside as my most important priority and started to think of the people that are most important to me. I quit telling my boss that I would work overtime and I studied a little less for school so that I could spend more time with my grandfather.

I now appreciate family, and do not take them for granted. I spend as much time with my grandfather as I can. I go over to his house more often to play cards with him, or even just to sit down and talk. I play with his dog because that seems to make my grandpa happy and I love to see him with a smile. I spend time with all of my family now, whether I go to there house and visit, or call them long distance to see how they are doing.

To this day, my grandfather may not retain the information that I was at the hospital with him, but at least I know that I can keep the memories of him making a joke to the nurse, or even wondering where his pants are when he wakes up from a nap at the hospital. These memories will make my life worth living. Not the grade I get on a test, or the job that pays for that grade. I believe in cherishing every moment with family.