I believe in the traumatic disasters of life.
In elementary school, my imaginative mind entertained me with a small daydream that I could take a bullet and it would bounce right off as if I were Superman, and it would somehow make me a hero to my peers and they would all praise me for my miraculous feat. My daydream was shattered through an experience that will hold me forever.
In the summer of 2007, the summer before my first year of high school, I was at a soccer camp and was sweating from the extreme heat. After the camp ended, I entered my mom’s car wanting to get home to a cold shower, but my mom did not deliver me the salvation of cold water. My mom calmly said that my grandfather had a stroke, I quickly started going through my limited experience on strokes, thinking that everything was going to be alright and that my grandpa would recover and he would soon be sitting in his living room chair.
I endured three months watching my grandfather slowly fail, losing his ability to speak and write, and finally to his death at a small nursing home in his hometown. I was amazed at my mom’s ability to hold her emotions back as she also watched her father die, and I did not want to disappoint her. At the funeral, I was not able to contain myself, and the entire time I had to look down at the carpeted church floor, not able to look at my grandfather’s casket as I slowly shed my tears, and as my mother watched with an astounding inner strength.
My childhood daydream did not play itself out as I had once imagined. Instead of the bullet bouncing off and me quickly rising up victoriously, I was sent to the bottom of a steep mountain, and I slowly had to bring myself up with grief trying to pull me back down. Instead of my friends praising me for my strength, I had to rely on their strength as they comforted me.
I have found that disasters are the hammers that beat out the small imperfections within myself, and forge me into a stronger person, a person who can stand up after a knockout blow and still rise up and walk on with my daily life. I do not intend to not shed tears for those in my life who will later pass on, but I do intend to stand up after my personal disasters as a better person. This I believe.
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