I have never given much thought to dying. I am only eighteen; I have so much to live for. Life never seemed short to me; each year felt like a lifetime as I lived it. Christy changed that.
October 6, 2008. I walked into the Pizza Hut my mother manages, and we had our normal conversation: “How is work going? When do you think you’ll be off? My night sucked. I don’t really feel like doing my trig homework; I’ll probably just do it in study hall tomorrow.” The she dropped the bomb.
“Katie, I need to tell you something really important.” I didn’t think much of it; there isn’t anything that big that she had told me before. “Your cousin Christy got out of jail about a month ago….”
“That’s so cool!” I knew she had been in jail for a stupid mistake, and it was great that she could go home to her two-year-old son and four-year-old daughter.
“Not exactly, Kate. She had been living on the streets because she didn’t want to keep living in a halfway house. She couldn’t leave California until she got a job and paid her fines.” Okay, so she isn’t going home yet. I guess she deserved to stay; she did go crazy and get arrested for driving on the wrong side of the interstate. It was so much more than just not getting to leave. “Kate, she got his by a car. Christy is brain dead.” Brain dead? I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that she wouldn’t wake up. That they pulled the plug.
I was so angry with her. If she had stayed in the halfway house she wouldn’t have gotten hit. She had so much to live for and she wouldn’t except help to get back to her life. Her babies were in Pennsylvania. How could she leave them? This young woman I looked up to ruined her life. Why did she have to be so stubborn? What was wrong with the halfway house?
Twenty-two. That’s how old she was, or is it more life how young she was? A hit-and-run driver took my sweet cousin’s life when she was not even five years older than I am. How was it possible for someone to die that young and why would God take her away?
I don’t have answers to any of these questions, and I probably never will. What I learned from this experience is to seize the day; carpe diem. Today isn’t just another day; this is my life, and today might be the end. I never let a day slip away unless I have done exactly what I want to do with it. There may be no tomorrow. I never know when God will decide he wants me to join him; even if I don’t think I’m ready. So from now on, I am ready every day.
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