The Power to Live

Evan - West Deptford, North Carolina
Entered on April 22, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: illness

I believe that with the help of friends and family people can have the power to live through any obstacles.

I was about six years old when my dad was told he had cancer. My whole family felt the devastating news, but my dad didn’t show it. He tried to live his life like he didn’t have cancer. He struggled a lot, though, and my brothers, my mom, and I had to be constantly at his side to take care of him. The doctors told him that he would only be able to live for eighteen months. But the one thing that kept him living even longer was the love and support of our family.

One snowy winter day, my dad looked out the door to see if my bus was there. While doing this, he slipped and fell in the snow with only his shorts and tank top on. Even though it was winter, he wore this outfit often because his medication would make him feel very hot. His medication also made him very weak, which caused his fall. Unable to get up, my dad just laid there for a good twenty minutes. When I got home, all I could do was cry at the sight of my father lying in the snow helpless. I quickly ran to my neighbor’s house to get help, and my neighbor and I rushed out the door to lift my dad up. When my father was lifted up, I asked him if he needed to go to the hospital and if he was alright. He said he was fine, just a little chilly. I reacted with a mix of laughing and crying at the same time.

Having cancer and being able to live through lying in the snow for twenty minutes with nothing but shorts and a tank top showed how much my dad wanted to live and be here for us. He wanted to be here to watch us become successful like he was, and take care of us as we grew from boys to men. And my father also genuinely loved being around us. He looked forward to seeing us every morning, and especially loved little things like writing little poems for us to come home to about things like what dinner we would have that day.

Everyday, my father would ask us to squeeze his hand so we could give him the power to live. And he did, for four more years.

People face challenges that might result in serious injury or death just by waking up each day. In fact, every time someone gets in a car, they have about a 50/50 chance of being hit. But what gives people that strength to take risks and live life to the fullest is the knowledge that family and friends are behind them, praying they come home safe and sending out to them the power to live. This I Believe.