Goodnight Can Make All the Difference

Tyler - Beaverton, Oregon
Entered on January 4, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Has something ever happened to you that you regretted for the rest of your life? Some regrets are big, such as doing drugs or going to prison while others can be seemingly small. It was one of those seemingly small regrets that happened to me. I forgot to say goodnight.

I had a baby brother who was 16 months old. He was adorable, he would laugh, talk, and walk. Two years ago he suddenly died with no warning. This devastated my whole family. Later the doctors were able to tell us that he had died from a giant tumor in his heart. Eventually our family came to accept that he was gone although we were all still incredibly sad. Everyone was able to feel better because they could all say they spent the whole time at the end with him; everyone except me.

Every Tuesday night we liked to sit down and watch “Dancing with the Stars” together as a family. One night I decided that I did not want to watch that show, that I would rather go watch a cartoon downstairs by myself. Afterwards I was so tired I went straight to bed.

The next morning started like any other normal day. My brother was still asleep as usual so I just got ready and went to school. Later that day I got called to the office and one of my parents’s good friends was there ready to take me home. I thought this was weird but went along with it. When I got home my mom and dad sat us down and told me and my brother and sister that our baby brother had died.

A week after, we were all sitting around the dinner table, silent, when my mom said, “We are all lucky that we were their for his last night.” Hearing this I realized that I was not there, that I was the only one who had not said goodnight. I realized that because of a selfish act to get away from the family and do my own things that I had not been there for the end.

To this day, two years later, I have not been able to place that one piece of the puzzle that lets you know you used and enjoyed the time you had with them because I was not their in the end to say the last goodnight. Now every night I make sure that if something bad was to happen to someone in the night, the last words I said or did not say would not be ones that I regretted for the rest of my life.

When you go to sleep tonight make sure that you say goodnight, or anything that will let you fill in the that last puzzle piece.