One chilly December night, I came home to find my Dad sitting in his chair breathing heavily, looking uncomfortable. Over the summer he broke his ankle and needed to have surgery to fix the shattered bones. Everything had gone smoothly until October when he began coughing. His doctor couldn’t determine the cause of the mysterious coughing and thought it was unrelated to his ankle. All the while the medications he took got stronger and stronger, but his health kept getting worse. Many nights I had come home to find him coughing so hard that it looked like his ribs were breaking, but this time something was different. My mom noticed this as well and went to see if he was okay. Shortly after, she came upstairs and told me and my sister to pack an overnight bag because we’d be spending the night at a family friend’s house. Hearing the urgency in our mom’s voice my sister and I did as we were told and quickly went downstairs to the garage to get in the car. Instead of leaving right away, we found our dad leaning over the hood of the car. He looked frightened and a new sense of seriousness entered my mind. My mom said that he thought he was having a heart attack and she was supposed to drive him to the hospital. However, knowing he might not make it if she drove, she decided better and called 911. Our family friend showed up to whisk my sister and me away, just as the ambulance showed up for our dad. Not knowing what was happening, what would be become of my dad, and not even if I would see him again; I stepped into the car and looked back as we were driven away. The only thing I relied on to get me through that night was sheer hope that everything was going to be alright. As a result of this shell shocking event I’ve come to believe in the power of optimism. When all hell broke loose around me and it seemed like my dad’s life was coming to an end, I simply refused to believe that he was going to die. Sure he might’ve come close to death, closer than in any of my worst nightmares, but he made it. Since then I have realized that when life seems too hard to continue, and the light at the end of the tunnel is barely visible, there has to be something to keep you from giving up hope. In my dad’s case more than just wishful thinking saved him- but it didn’t hurt. I could have moped around for the week he was in the hospital but I chose to stay positive and kept on going. Now, I live my life by the motto- when life throws you lemons, you’ve got to make lemonade, or in my situation when your dad’s heart throws blood clots, you’ve got to keep up hope.
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