Life is the most dynamic element to our knowledge today. One event, or even one day, is enough to completely change one’s future for better or worse. The events endured can either bring that person to accepting or denying the life they have to deal with, so I believe that life makes up who we are on the inside and that life proves the person we truly are. I also believe that every day is given to us as a gift and we can either deny or accept that gift.
Recently, I have been tested against my beliefs because the first day of my junior year in high school my great grandmother died. She was the largest aspect of my life for many reasons. The main reason is that she had lived with my family since before I was born, sixteen years ago, so she had been right next to me every day for sixteen years. She was my babysitter, my tutor, my teacher, my playmate, and above all my guide. When she died at the age of ninety-six my life completely split in two. I felt that my only key to life had been lost and that I had no entrance to the door I was about to open. On the other hand, I also felt that her death was the best thing for her. She had lived a complete life of ninety-six years, which most people dream of and never achieve, she had four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and complete mental capacity when she died. All those factors gave me comfort and lead me to accept her death.
Every day prior to her death had me thinking constantly about how I would feel, how well I would be able to accept and move on, and how I would maintain steady grades with an unfocused mind. I was truly tested, I had originally failed, but I soon opened the new door.
My grades by progress report were clearly not my best. I had three “c” averages along with two “b” averages and the rest were “a” averages which became my worst progress report I had received during my high school career. I had lost some contact with my closest friends that I spoke to on a daily basis, and worried them to the max. My relation with my family also became minimal to nothing. Family dinner and social time turned into simple questions and answers. I scared myself when I looked into the mirror every morning, but after one week of deep thought and mourning I started to find my key.
I came back from the depths of a hole I had dug myself into, and found ways to reconnect to the world I used know. My grades soon were up ten and eleven points each and by report card I had successfully achieved honor roll. I sat down with some of my friends and had time to talk to them about what happened and they understood more than I thought they would understand, and ultimately I discovered ways to reconnect with my family and together we got over what we thought was the end of the road we had all traveled together.
I believe that the roughest times in life are the ultimate test of willingness to accept and deal with the most dynamic element in existence. This test is a test for all measures of endurance, self control, and the ability to accept change. This test brings out the worst and best in each person every day, and I believe that we have the ultimate power to open a new door.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.