This I Believe

Stephanie - Dallas, Texas
Entered on November 28, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Waking up to a piercing crash is without a doubt less comforting than the traditional radio, but slightly more efficient, I must add. I remember jumping out of bed and sprinting straight into the kitchen only to see my dad, the strong, warrior in the family sprawled across the tile floor, surrounded by shards of glass and a sea of sugar.

“Honey, no…Sweetie, no… Sugar, look! I spilled the sugar bowl,” he called to me laughing uncontrollably, trying to find the perfect pun. I went along with his jokes, giggling at his stuttering, but what else could I have done? I was eight.

All of the sudden he stood up, grabbing my wrist for support. He stared at the nearby clock for about fifteen seconds before shrieking, “OH MY GOSH, YOU’RE LATE FOR SCHOOL!” It was 4:20; school started at 7:45. He dragged me, pajamas and all into the car, leaving the glass and sugar to be dealt with later. I remember buckling in, you know, for safety. It was my routine, and I still hadn’t realized that today was not an ordinary day. Ordinary would be conforming to the roads; Dad chose to “ride the curbs”. Ordinary would be avoiding the mailboxes; Dad used them as target practice. Ordinary would be driving on the right side of the road; Dad went where his heart desired. Believe it or not, I did not make it to school that day.

A year before this day, my father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He was developing the disease so quickly that the doctors weren’t even sure which pain medications would fit the best with my dad’s conditions. On this particular day, my dad was experiencing the effects of an accidental overdose from his medications the night before.

Today, my dad is unable to leave the house- his pain has become almost unbearable. Simple, everyday tasks have become extremely difficult and strenuous for him. Through experiencing first hand the growing effects of Multiple Sclerosis on my father, I have come to believe that not only do you have to expect the unexpected, but that you also have to accept and value it. Conforming or going along with the standards or norm is not always an option in the game of life. From my dad, I have come to treasure everyday because you never know what tomorrow holds.