The Lucky Coke

Caroline - Wellesley, Massachusetts
Entered on March 8, 2009

Luck did not accompany my friend Beth’s life. For the seven short years I knew her, she was a gracious person who never showed the inner struggles she faced daily. Even though Beth died of a heart condition, she also had diabetes and was bound to a wheelchair. It is hard to understand how such a loving girl met her end, while so many other people, myself included, are still healthy today. I almost feel guilty that I am healthy. While she had obstacles pushing against her during her life, I had nothing of that severity. What did Beth do to earn such a harsh life? I could not tell someone the answer because I do not have one.

I believe some people have luckier lives than others.

As we began to order at TGIF’s, Beth’s favorite restaurant, she got to order a Coke while I had to have milk. The only reason Beth got to drink Coke was because she needed to raise her blood sugar. She told me she was lucky she got Coke, and I was the unlucky one. I find it amazing that she would call herself lucky throughout the health battles she was dealing with. Besides Beth’s admirable personality, she also had a laugh to match. Whenever she laughed, it was soundless and her belly shook, just like Santa’s is depicted as. It was known as her “belly laugh” throughout my first grade class.

Attempting to distract my thoughts of Beth being hospitalized, my parents took me on a ski trip with my friends. However, when my parents had to unexpectedly leave early, leaving me with my family friends, I knew something was fishy. Three nights later, my parents called. Beth has died, they whispered into the telephone. My heart felt so heavy, it was as if it had dropped to my toes. I desperately wanted to assume that my parents were lying to me. I had always thought of the bad guys in movies experiencing bad luck and dying in the end. Never did I think Beth, the good guy, would die. Never did I want the good guy to die.

As my first grade class began to understand Beth was truly gone, each class member made a book for her. Within the book, people asked her about Heaven. I asked her if she was doing cartwheels in Heaven, because she never could on earth.

Like Beth, some are toiling through their lives, but others are not. Incidentally, these two sides of life coexist together. While people are homeless and depressed, others are winning the lottery and drinking martinis. I consider myself lucky, for I am blessed with health, security, a loving family and a house. It never fails to surprise me when people I wouldn’t think are blessed say they are lucky, like Beth. Sometimes people must make their own luck, just like how Beth found herself lucky to be drinking Coke that day in TGIF’s.