Life on Full
“Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.”
-Horace (Ancient Roman poet. 65 BC-8 BC)
Carpe Diem, seize the day. Easier said than done right? Some people have a hard time to have the initiative to even wake up in the morning. Others waist their day staring blankly at colorful screens letting life pass them by. .Break free from the restricting hold of todays world and live life. Be optimistic, break boundary’s, drive fast, HAVE FUN!
It was a sunny Wednesday morning like any other, birds where chirping and dogs where barking, and like always, I was running late for school. Knowing that the few shorts months was the only thing standing between me and a high school diploma fueled me enough to at least attend class. I quickly tossed on some clothes and stumbled down the stairs to see what questionable breakfast my mom had prepared.
“ Great, a hot pocket…again”, I muttered
“ Cody, do you know a boy named Dusty Hicks”? asked my mom.“ Of course, I’m pretty sure everyone in my whole school knows him” I exclaimed.“ I think maybe you should take a look at this then”, she sighed. My mom handed me the local newspaper,I riped through it frantically, hoping for only for good news. The “eye boogers” plastered to my eye lashes made reading a very difficult task but somehow I prevailed. I focused on the article and furiously read the story. It wasn’t the good news that I had hoped for.
Dusty was a common face at Woodford County High School, the school that I had known attended for 4 years. I would pass him almost everyday through out the sardine packed halls, occasionally getting a high five or a head nod. It wasn’t hard to spot his wheel chair speeding down the halls, drifting around corners and plowing anyone one over who got in his way. Everyone knew and loved him. He had always led our school to victory as the diving team captain and participated in the state finals multiple times.
You see, 3 of the 4 years I had known Dusty, he was just like any other teenager, that was, before the accident. When diving into a pond, he landed on his neck, becoming parallelized from the waist down. It was a freak accident that nobody could have ever predicted. Dusty became the talk of the town
“ How could something so terrible happen to such a nice boy” strangers would often utter.
He became a inspirational leader and never seemed to have a bad day. His permanent smile under his chill blue eyes and seamlessly perfect hair gave away no
regret. The community kept up with Dusty’s progress hoping he would be given the opportunity to one day walk, but secretly knowing that the reality of this happening would be rare. That was until Woodford County Highs Thanksgiving assembly.
It began like any other yearly Thanksgiving assembly. Donated cans where stacked and counted while our principal preached the all to well known origin of Thanksgiving. It seemed to be just another lame waist of time where I could catch up on some well deserved sleep; that was until Dusty unexpectedly wheeled out on stage.
“ Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful, a time to surround yourself with friends and family, and I am thankful for the great life I have along with some amazing friends” Dusty exclaimed. I quickly arose from my slumber and was at full attent. His message was precise and to the point, to appreciate life to the fullest because in a flash, everything could change. He also addressed breaking news on a new machine that had been donated to Cardinal Hill hospital to hopefully train him to someday walk again. His optimism and outlook was like chicken noodle soup to everyones soul in that auditorium. I’m pretty sure almost everyone teared up when boasted his goal of walking across the stage at graduation later on in the year.
Dusty continued to improve along with our hopes. His artificial walking machine, the Dustinator ( named after him), seemed to be working and his goal of walking at gradation seemed very plausible. I still often saw Dusty rolling to class throughout the year, his huge gleaming smile would blind my eyes. It is unbearable to believe that this was the same kid that I would later read about on that sunny Wednesday morning.
On a regular bright spring Tuesday afternoon, Dusty Hicks took his own life. When news hit the public, I knew our school would never be the same. Dusty had been such an inspiration to all showing courage and outgoingness. School that day was hard and I felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave and go home all day. Every second I was reminded about my fellow classmate whether it was from his pictures that scattered the halls, or if it was the look of misfortune and sadness upon everybody’s face. He inspired many to step out of their comfort zone and was a friend to everyone he saw. He was living proof that accidents can happen to anyone…even you,
Tragic accidents and misfortune like Dusty’s sadly is not as uncommon as most would like to think. So get out there and live you life to its full potential. Every now and then you have to break out from behind that desk, loosen up you tie, and just let it all go,just to keep your sanity. Life is fragile and no morning is guaranteed. Try something new and fun that you have always wanted to experience! Go rock climbing or bungee jumping, try attending a play or a musical, take vacations to exotic beaches, or even just your backyard. Whatever you decide to do, you will have a much happier stress free, productive life as a result, much better than the life of a couch potato. Don’t take one day for granted because nothing is guaranteed and tragedy can strike at any second.
R.I.P. -Dusty Hicks- 1990-2008
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