This I Believe

Eric - Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Entered on December 12, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that life is too short to waste. In June of 2008, before fall classes started. I was working for a nice factory making decent money. I was living with my cousin, and had a comfortable little house, two bedrooms and just big enough for the two of us. I had no complaints with the way life was going at the moment.

Suddenly my mom’s dad got really sick. He ended up having to go to the hospital where they admitted him. He was in the hospital for three to four weeks and his condition only worsened until he passed away one night. The loss was great for everyone, and after a week or two things seemed to slowly go back to normal.

I receive a phone call while at work not two or three weeks after the funeral of my grandfather. It was my aunt letting me know that my grandmother, my dad’s mom had passed away at the nursing home shortly before she called me. I hurriedly let my boss know the situation and left work to go find my dad and let him know that his mother had just passed away. Not long after I got to my dad’s house my boss called me and informed me that my services were no longer needed.

Three days after my grandmother’s funeral I got yet another phone call telling me that my father was in the hospital, his kidneys were shutting down due to his years of alcoholism and that he didn’t have long to live. He stayed in the hospital for two weeks before we transferred him to a nursing home. He needed around-the-clock care. I still hadn’t been able to find a job, and due to the circumstances, I was suddenly in no big hurry. I would go to the nursing home and stay from sun up till sun down just to spend all the time I could with him. His skin was a dull yellow and his eyes matched. He wasn’t able to move very well so I tried to be there in case he needed help eating or cutting up his food.

My cousin called me one day while I was visiting with my father and let me know that our landlord had sold our house that we were renting and that we had only a few days to get all of our stuff out.

I felt more alone than I ever had in life; I had lost so much in such a short time.

Looking back on the situation now, had I not gotten fired from my job then I never would have gotten to spend that extra time with my dad. I got to make peace and tell him I was sorry for not spending more time with him. I realize through all the bad that’s happened my own mortality, that I’m not getting any younger and made me fight harder for what I want in life.