How It Could Have Been

Peter - Westmont, Illinois
Entered on February 13, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

What I know for sure is that it is always better to let your emotions flow than to refrain from expressing yourself. Otherwise, you will come to the day where you will regret not having done so. For me that day came sooner that it should have, when I was completely unprepared for it, three years ago.

As the young, vibrant night was dying down, I headed home without knowing that what awaited me there would change my life forever. Just as I arrived at the door about to let the luminous keyhole swallow my key, the door suddenly jerked backward. My entire family was sitting in front of me on our murky green couch. Hopefully, I wasn’t in trouble, but something was seriously wrong. My usually poised and stoic mother looked like she was just in a rainstorm. What has happened?

It was my grief-stricken brother that broke the news to me, “Grandpa died.”

My brave and courageous father crumpled onto the immense couch, which quickly sucked him up. I felt as if my heart stopped beating, as if someone kept on stabbing my heart from the inside. How could this happen to my beloved grandpa? He would not hurt an ant, and he was only 79 years old and was perfectly healthy.

No matter how much I thought about the situation, I was unable to completely come to terms with it. I realized then that nothing would ever be the same again. My grandpa was lost from me forever. I will never be able to express to him how I felt about him. I realized that I have never told him that I loved him and cared deeply for him. That I looked up to him in life as my guide. That I enjoyed spending time with him. That he was the best grandpa a person could ever have. I wished that I had at least given him a hug and told him how much he meant to me.

My perception of life completely changed after that event. I wished that I could turn back the hands of time and spend one more minute with my grandpa, so I could tell him how I truly felt about him. But the truth of the matter was that I could not do that. My grandpa was lost from me forever. I would never be able to express to him how I felt about him, no matter how much I wanted to. From this experience, I came to realize that there is no going back in life; you have to deal with the results of your actions for the rest of your life. Thus, I came to believe that you should live every day as if it were your last day on earth, not holding back any emotions and truly conveying yourself.