There is Only Today

Vanessa - Burbank, Illinois
Entered on May 5, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

My belief is one that has stemmed from an experience that I wish no one has to ever go through; it is one that has no heart warming story behind it. It’s the experiences in life that completely change your view on things that mean the most, but can usually hurt the most as well.

My sophomore year of high school was a representation of a care free life. Our mentality at that point was one of living as if we were invincible and we had our whole lives ahead of us. However, it was May when the entire perspective of our teenage years would come to a crashing halt. Yearbooks had been published when I was walking out of school thinking to myself that I needed to get my friend to sign mine. Due to the fact that I was already leaving school, I said to myself, “I’ll get him to do it Monday.”

Monday never came. Well, for me it did. Over the weekend I got a phone call that would inform me that my friend was involved in a drinking and driving accident, where the driver had been driving over 100 in the woods and instead of following the curve in the road, went off into the trees. The crash site was heart jerking; it consisted of dented trees, car parts, clothes and other items from the boys. My friend was ejected from the car. His internal bleeding was too much and he died about 3 am that morning. The driver’s alcohol limit was at least twice the legal limit; however the passenger and he were basically untouched. The boy in the back has gone through surgeries upon surgeries and had to have his leg amputated. The story of these boys had spread to everyone in our grade and the entire school quickly, and put a shock, along with a reality check upon many of us. We never believed a seventeen year old boy could be killed and not be invincible. The impact of this led to a funeral with lines out the door, and tears filled with pain coming from too many people, including a family who suffered more than any of us.

This real life experience is not one to promote not to drink and drive, because that is another lesson all in itself. However, because of this tragedy I realize, there may not be tomorrow. I realized that in my life I need to live for now, for today, not tomorrow because I can miss out on an opportunity. Whether the opportunity is to get a yearbook signed, tell someone how I feel, or just to take an experience head on, it is one I learned from an experience that had to hurt me first. If those who believe they have all this time to live and that they are invincible really are not, then we must realize we need to take the time we have right now and use it to the fullest.