“I’m so sorry.” Those were the words I heard that changed my life. I will never forget that sunny, March afternoon for as long as I live. I remember walking down the long hallway to my guidance counselor’s office and as I entered the cramped space, I instantly sensed something wasn’t right. I sat in the hard backed chair waiting for her to speak. Her dark browns eyes searched my face for a long moment and she then proceeded to tell me my grandmother died. I don’t remember anything except the searing pain that cut my heart and the burning sensation in my eyes. I can definitely say that was the worst day of my life, and I have never experienced a pain that intense. I couldn’t believe she was gone; I spent previous the weekend with her and the following Tuesday she was gone. Even though that was a rough experience, I believe life isn’t promised to anyone so I should always live like there is no tomorrow.
My grandmother and I were very close, and when she died, that was the first time I came face to face death. She died peacefully in her sleep, in the early morning hours of Tuesday March 13, 2007. My grandmother was a happy woman, who taught me many life lessons. Grandma, as I so lovingly referred to her, only had a ninth grade education. She had to quit school so she could work and help support her family. She married my grandfather at the age of eighteen, and lovingly raised ten children; all of who went on to obtain high school degrees. My grandmother taught her children, as well as grandchildren, the importance of always striving to make the best of life because she always said “You never know when it’s gonna be your time to go.”
This was an important lesson for me to learn because I realized I was taking a lot of things in my life for granted. I thought everything was going to stay the same from day to day and I would always have tomorrow to fulfill my dreams. Although I knew everyone would die eventually, it never occurred to me my grandmother would be taken from me so suddenly. I began thinking how quickly I was allowing life to pass me by. I never got the opportunity to thank my grandmother for helping mold me into the young woman I am today. She taught me it was ok to be an individual and sometimes its best to take the road less traveled. Her death made me realize life is not promised to anyone, and it can be taken as easily was it was given. After the funeral, I began to make changes in my life, and tried to start living as my grandmother had. I began by putting all gloomy thoughts aside because I knew my grandmother would only want me to be happy. I stopped procrastinating, I quit taking life for granted and I began to notice and appreciate the little things. I finished whatever tasks lay before me to the best of my ability, and I began to enjoy life.
Even though I miss my grandmother dearly, her passing was a blessing to me because it taught me an important life lesson that I will keep with me forever. I believe life is not promised to anyone; I must always live like there is no tomorrow.
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