Hope and Optimism can Overcome Death

Andy - Hudson, Ohio
Entered on August 4, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the ability to overcome obstacles, in optimism, in happiness and in people. Having the ability to hope can bring out all these qualities. To overcome something, one needs optimism and at least remote happiness; otherwise, what is it all really for?

Tragedy is something that touches us all, for me, tragedy has not been touching me, rather grasping me. Nonetheless, I have managed through hope and optimism and happiness to overcome these tragedies. I am 17 years old and have experienced many tragedies or rather life-changing events. These events were certainly not all tragedies, but they were certainly not things that helped in my hope.

In my short 17 years, two dogs have died, three grandfathers died, my great-grandmother died, my parents became divorced, very shortly after my father was remarried, my mom became remarried… to an alcoholic. It took a while for me to realize what my new stepfather was doing and what he was doing to my mother. He was an angry drunk and did strike my mother; I was young at the time but I was old enough to see and really see what was going on. Nevertheless, they did get divorced “shortly” after. Several years later, my mother was remarried, again. But this time, it was a blessing, the greatest blessing to come into my life.

Simon was the greatest man I have ever known, kind, warm-hearted, funny, and he was always happy and optimistic. His presence in my life gave me a true father figure, a father figure in which my life dramatically was in call for, as I had made a few wrong decisions in that recent history. Simon had flipped my life over like his famous pancakes that had the mouths of my family watering.

In the events previous to Simon’s entrance, I was left on a downward path into myself with no hope or happiness or optimism left inside of me. Thank God, Simon came into my life and showed me the light. But, it was a different kind of light, not a light from God or the sun or the stars, it was the light emanating from his soul. In this, my life had been reinvigorated with hope and happiness and optimism. But, all good thing must end sometime right? Simon died unexpectedly one morning on January 22, 2008. He had epilepsy and apparently, epileptics can suddenly die without any knowledge or precursor. One day he was here and the next…

After thinking about my life shortly after, I was certain that I was destined for cynicism and pessimism. However, the light that Simon emanated was passed to my family and I especially felt it as his light and happiness allowed me to regain my hope and happiness and optimism.

This brings me to this point in my life where I am writing this and reflecting on everything. The proverbial statement truly holds here, everything happens for a reason. Events may tear lives apart but the struggle is what we are here for; the struggle brings out the strength in us all. The ability to overcome obstacles and remain happy and optimistic is the strength and it is given to us in many ways, through death, through life, a friend, a family member or God. The fact that even the absence of a person can change someone is what gives me optimism and happiness and hope. It just takes a little event for someone else to find what gives them strength. This I believe.