Never Too Late

Alanna - Westminster, Colorado
Entered on September 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

I believe there are not always second chances. It has always been my belief that if I had one chance there would be another. Procrastination has always been a part of my life, always putting tasks off until it is almost too late. I’ve lived like I’d always have another chance to fix or do something. In my mind, I’d never be too late.

Then cancer struck in my family with one victim in mind: Grandpa. I haven’t seen him in almost ten years. A visit to his home in Florida had been planned for after my graduation. His doctor said he had six to twelve months left. He had a birthday within the month, one last chance to celebrate with friends and family. Or so we thought.

We procrastinated in sending off his birthday cards. It took forever to pick out cards that were just right. A week later, when the cards had finally arrived via snail-mail, we would call and see what he thought. One night, my mom decided she needed to call and check up one him, to see if he had received the cards. But she waited until too late in the evening, after he was already in bed. The call was put it off until the following day; that second chance was all she had.

Her cry− blood-curdling and bone-chilling− told me that a second chance wasn’t there.

On that fateful morning, seeing the tears my mother cried, I saw that second chances are not always granted. There may never be another chance to say ‘I love you’ or hug someone I love. Never may I have another chance to try and forgive someone I care about for what they may have never meant to do. My mother’s tears and regrets taught me to never miss a chance to stay close to those I love and care for; I may never receive another chance to show them how I feel.

No longer do I live like I have a guaranteed second chance. Every day, I take the chances I’m given. Greetings and smiles fill my life. I surround myself with new friends, people I greet because they look a little alone or lost. I try to make a new friend or acquaintance everyday. I spend less time arguing with my parents because I don’t know how many more chances I’ll have to show them how much I care. Less time is wasted picking on and hurting my friends. Instead, I try to make them laugh and smile. Who knows what’ll happen tomorrow.

My mother may have deserved another chance to say ‘I love you’ to her dad, but she will never obtain it. I have learned from that. I will never pass up the chance to show someone how much I care. The few chances we receive are not bestowed lightly.