This I Believe

rita - norfolk, Virginia
Entered on January 11, 2009

A few months ago I met a girl no less than a year younger than myself. What struck me most about this girl was not that she had just been diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer, but that she was so immensely happy despite this most recent news. Most people have never experienced this kind of happiness. It radiated off of her much like the chemicals flowing strong through her blood. Words were not necessary to realize her importance in the world. It would be an understatement to say she was the type of person who could find happiness in every day things. And though she certainly could, this would just not do her justice because there are no archetypes to accurately describe the magnificence beheld in her character.

Eight months through her plight she was informed her cancer had metastasized. This meant she had not only undergone eight rigorous months of invasive and debilitating surgeries, chemo and radiotherapies reaping no positive medical results, but also that she had only seven more months ahead of her to understand what life is about, what her purpose her is, and to live to live her last 180 days happily to the best of her ability.

The impact she had on me lives in me every day and I hope it always will long after she’s gone. Every day I think about how finding out my life was soon to be over would change it. It’s a well known fact that everyone must die, but knowing your time is coming a bit off schedule seems to give a different perspective. Of course everyone dreams of a future career and family, but without our dreams to sustain us, who are we? I suppose everything comes down to having hope and happiness. Regardless of what I may hope for it is undeniably this hope that triggers the human soul to keep persevering. Without this hope, for fame or money, or love or something bigger than life itself, we have no will to persist. This hope is truly much simpler than fame or money or love or any worldly things. Hope is simply a longing for happiness. With this in mind, I have chosen to live my life creating my own happiness.

I recently got glasses. Unrelated as it seems, I walk down a street and fully appreciate the presence of the flowers at the end of the street as God created them and me with the same hands he used for those flowers. Each day I am awoken at 4:13 am by the bluebird family that chose to build their home outside my window. Though I surely do close my window at night, I appreciate the song of these carolers and love even more the fact God chose me of all the people to hear it. How little these things may seem when spoken or read from a page but these are the things that shape my day. Every day is full of moments like this, these moments accompanied by thoughts. Thinking about how discovering news like this would change my life, I’m not sure it would a great deal. Though I’d like to travel the world and certainly would see no point in continuing my education formally, my appreciation of individual moments of happiness or contentment make my life and that is pretty satisfying as it is.