I’m 20 years old, a third year in college, and life is good. I have never been through anything so dramatic or life changing. I have never lost a grandparent, parent or sibling; but this is not true for everyone. My mother lost her older brother, my uncle, when she was much older than me, but still to lose a sibling; I couldn’t imagine.
I have a pretty large family, six people in my immediate family. My parents, who have been married for over twenty-six years, then there is my older sister, me, my younger brother and a younger sister. We are one of the closest families I think ever. If someone from my family just all the sudden wasn’t there I really don’t know what I would do. It would be like missing an entire piece of my world.
My story doesn’t really have to do with my immediate family, but more about my uncle who I didn’t really get to know. When he was thirty he was diagnosed with brain cancer, and it was inoperable. He fought for his life knowing that he would not live for more than 4 years, and eventually passed away when he was thirty-four years old.
I don’t remember much about him dying, but I have small memories of him when he was alive. I hear stories of him from my mother every once in awhile but most of the time he is not mentioned. But the stories that I do get to hear make me so proud that I was related to such an amazing man. He was so giving, loving, respected and over all a great person. Instead of getting gifts he only gave gifts. When people would ask him what he wanted for Christmas he would tell them nothing, but if they wanted to get him anything it should be something that he could give to someone else.
In 1989 when the tragic earthquake happened in San Francisco my uncle donated a car that he had won from a radio station to be auctioned off for all the victims. The car was sold for a ridiculous amount of money and helped a lot of people in their time of need. After the auction the man who bought the car gave it to my uncle to show how grateful he was that there were such nice people still out there in the world. Stories like this were the only things I ever heard about my uncle, him doing great things for other people.
One random day I asked my mom if she ever thought about her brother or if she ever cried. I wasn’t trying to bring something up that she didn’t want to talk about, I was simply just curious; she just broke down and started to cry. I didn’t really know how to react. I started to hug her and then the tears just started rolling down my face.
She told me that she thought about him everyday. Especially when she talks to her sister on the phone, because she knows that she can’t just pick up a phone to talk to him ever again. It made me think, how could she deal with losing someone so close and dear to her heart? It also made me realize that I need to cherish every moment with people that I love, to make every experience with people enjoyable, to not fight over things that won’t matter tomorrow; and to love like you might not see someone ever again.
I think that loving someone is one of the best things in the world. No one can take love away from you, no one can tell you who and who not to love, and it’s a personal choice that you yourself get to make on your own. Love is beautiful and everyone should love to the fullest all the time. You never know when you won’t be able to show someone that you love them anymore. This I believe is how I want to live my life, and also how I want the people who love me to live their lives.
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