Alexa - Cave Creek, Arizona
Entered on May 6, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Time is priceless, yet it costs us nothing. You can do anything you want with it, but own it. You can spend it, but you can’t keep it. And once you’ve lost it, there’s just no getting it back. It’s just…gone. My mom is always telling me, “live in the moment,” and I have been trying to use that advice as much as possible lately. I’m a senior in high school, about to graduate in two weeks and I look back on these past four years, searching for memories of great times with all of my friends, and what I’ve found is the memories that I have are not nearly as abundant as they should be. If I had just taken the time to step outside of myself, and look at all the wonderful people I came across at the exact time it happened, I would have so much more to look back on now. I know that I am connected to each passing smile, each handshake, each hug, each conversation I have ever seen or had.

In a time in my life when everyone is looking towards the future – Where will I go to college? What am I going to study? Ten more days until graduation! And making summer plans – there is no better time to look at my present. I am young, and vibrant and have all the possibilities in the world waiting for me to reach out and grab them, but if I don’t know what I have right now, how am I ever going to get to where I want to be?

One year ago, my grandparents, who were married for over fifty years, got a divorce. Nothing has been the same since then. I come from a huge family – my mother is one of seven, and they each have two to three kids, which adds up to around forty people or so – and every Sunday we would all get together at Nonna and Nonno’s house to spend time with each other and have dinner. I have grown up with my seventeen cousins as if they are my brothers and sisters, but now, we can’t have those get-togethers.

My weeks are now split between my two grandparents. Sundays are spent at Nonno’s, always. I think he took the divorce the hardest. You see, he was an alcoholic, and Nonna just got tired of his drunken rages. I know he misses her, and at the beginning he really wanted her back. Nonna lives with one of my aunts now, and I usually see her some time during the week.

My youngest cousins, Sal, Gianna, Sophia and Nicco, are just babies. The oldest of the four is just two years old. I can’t help but to feel terrible for them. They will never have the summer barbecues and pool parties at Nonna and Nonno’s house. They will never understand what the family used to be like, before my grandparents split up.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to those days. The family seemed so much more alive and thriving. Now, it’s almost an inconvenience to have to see both of them. I hate saying that. It should never be an inconvenience to visit and spend time with my family, but I can’t help than to feel that way. Holidays are a mess. I don’t know how we got through this last Christmas.

We’re working things out, and getting used to this new schedule the family has to follow. I can only hope that we will get back to those days when we were all together, in one house, enjoying each other’s company.

This I truly believe: time is priceless.