I believe in a lot of things, but one thing I believe most strongly about is to look on the bright side and be happy for all that you have. I mean has anything ever happened to you where you think it’s the end of the world, and you want to get away from everything? I have. But even though I did, my family and I took a step back, looked on the bright side and counted our blessings.
It was a very cold day on December 19th of 2008, so cold that school had canceled and we had lost electricity. Since we live in the country, we’re used to not getting our electricity back for a couple of days, so our original plans were still on. You see I invited my friend to go to the Rialto with my sister and I to see the live radio broadcast of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It was around 5:10p.m, when my dad got home from work. He went outside to start the generator, while my mom and I got ready to pick up my friend. That’s when we heard the high-pitched beep.
The smoke alarm was going off. My mom ran upstairs, screamed, “ Kevin! Her bed is in flames!” and she just kept repeating my dad’s name until he came upstairs with a fire extinguisher and tried to put it out. I was watching from downstairs, and it seemed to go in slow motioned. In one moment my thoughts were they’ll put it out and every thing goes back to normal. Wrong. I knew that when my dad said, “Get everybody out and call 9-1-1!”
Now my thoughts went to my bird Happy. All I could say was “ He’s gone. He’s gone.” My dad finally snapped me out of it, and I helped him wheel the other bird out into the snow. Finally we heard sirens, and we looked toward the road but we watched in horror as they turned the wrong way. My mom called 9-1-1 and yelled at them that they turned the wrong way. It probably only took only 15 min. to get there, but it felt like 15 hours.
The firemen were putting out the flames when my cousin made me walk to her house in sorrow. Pretty soon my mom came and joined me on couch. We sat together and cried, a while later my dad came and sat with us. My mom called my sister and she rushed over. My sister gathered her nerves and went to talk to the firemen.
While we sat there we counted our blessings. We were still alive, our cat had been saved, only one room was condemned, and we got Christmas presents and a lot of family pictures out. We were and are so thankful for what we have. We looked on the bright side and were happy. We had lots of friends and family to help us.
I believe that people should look on the bright side and be happy for everything they have. Because my family did that, and we are getting through it together. And I know that if everyone could do that then the world wouldn’t feel like it’s ending, you wouldn’t want everything to just go away. Instead, you’d put your chin up and be happy for all you’ve got.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.