I believe never taking anything in your life for granted. I believe in celebrating every moment, every breath for you’ll never live or breath it again.
When I was little, my family suffered a huge loss from my father’s side, my grandfather past away. It was as though one minute my life was a perfect little glass box, then all of a sudden the box fell of the table and broke into millions of pieces. Like a fairy tale turning into a horror movie. He was the rock in my life, no matter how old he got, how weak he became, he was there.
Just a week before, I had gone to see him. But the worst part was, the day before my father asked me if I wanted to go visit him. I declined; I had no idea what fate had in store for me. I don’t know what I would have changed; I just know it would change. I know that something would be different, but fate is cruel to those who don’t seize the moment.
I don’t remember my exact age, but I do remember I was older than seven and younger than ten. My dad and I had gone to the grocery store that day and on the way home he asked me if he wanted to visit his father. I immediately did not think of him, but the place he was living. The nursing home, it wasn’t a home. It was just a place, it reek of what we all we all knew was inevitable, death. I hated going there, it crushed my idea of the rock my grandfather was, made him like any other person. I couldn’t stand to think of him like that.
We got the call at five o’clock. He passed in his sleep, it was painless. I hated myself. For not talking to him one last time, taking a few minutes to see an old man who knew his time to meet his Maker was soon. The vibrant picture that was my life was suddenly ripped to shreds, never to be repaired. Then my father spoke to me. He helped me realize u could never have known, I learned my lesson the hard way. It seems that’s the only way to learn. I now try to never take anything for granted.
Recently my great-grandmother died. My experience with my grandfather helped me get through it. She was in her nineties and lived the way she wanted to, no matter what others told her. She lived in New Jersey, so I couldn’t really get to see her often, but the last time I visited her I had a feeling this would be the last time I would see her. So when I said goodbye, I knew that the next time I would see her would not be here on Earth, but at the pearly gates, next to St. Peter and ready to welcome me into heaven.
I believe in living life to the fullest. My advice for those who read this is to take all the chances life has to offer. And never, ever take a second for granted.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.