I believe there are no accidents

Kathryn - Los Angeles, California
Entered on June 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that there are no accidents. I don’t mean the kind of accidents in which you skin your knee or break a vase-the superficial accidents. Instead, I’m referring to life accidents.

In the summer before junior year I experienced this truth for myself. That summer I had made plans to study abroad in Costa Rica. However, a few months before my departure my grandfather on my dad’s side, with whom I was very close, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It was devastating news for everyone in my family. Grandpa Ed was the sarcastic, hilarious, stubborn glue that held our family together. He was the bearer of advice and an adamant believer in simple green. After learning about his illness I was extremely apprehensive about leaving. The night before I was set to leave I talked to my grandpa and he was his same joking self, he reminded me to have fun and then we hung up.

The next morning my summer adventure was to begin. My parents drove me to the airport and walked me to the gate and we waved goodbye with water filled eyes. I was sitting on the plane quite nervous, apprehensive, and sad when we took off. Forty-five minutes later I was awakened by a nervous voiceover. With the Spanish that I knew I tried to decipher what was happening. Finally they repeated in English, “Ladies and Gentlemen we are experiencing a lack of cabin air pressure and are rerouting back to LAX.”

Once I was able to exit the plane I jetted to the pay phone to call my parents. My dad answered half awake half asleep and thinking that I was in Costa Rica. Once I explained he came and got me and we went home. My flight was rescheduled for the following day.

When we returned home I immediately crashed while watching the men’s Wimbledon final between world number one Roger Federer and world number tow Rafael Nadal. At ten I was awakened by the telephone my dad answered and his face instantly wilted and you could tell his heart sank to his stomach. My grandpa had taken a turn for the worst after having a stroke and hospice had moved in.

At that moment I was speechless. My mom, my dad, and I congregated in the living room and just sat in silence. In that moment we all realized the higher forces that we had encountered that day. The fact that the plane had turned around was astonishing to us all.

That summer changed me forever. I no longer panic to a point of hysteria when my path takes a different turn because I now know that there is an unforeseen reason awaiting me. Life is full of twist and turns but ultimately we all end up in the right destination. I believe there are no accidents.