This I Believe

Collette - Roanoke, Indiana
Entered on May 31, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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A girl of only 15, I haven’t had much life experience. But I believe that I have reached a conclusion considering love’s power: I believe that love can conquer anything. My father was unexpectedly taken from my grasp a mere 20 nights ago by accidentally falling off a bridge while working. This being one of the most tragic and devastating events of my life, I became dependent on the help and support of everyone around me, whether I knew them personally or not. The night it happened, I was surrounded by people to lean on, shoulders to cry on, and hands to hold. The hours spent waiting in the hospital were long, impatiently dreaded, and clueless as to whether or not I would go to bed that night with a part of my life gone forever. Every time the doctors checked back, hope was slowly dwindling from our hearts as they got less and less optimistic. But I still had people to lean on, shoulders to cry on, and hands to hold. Then physically seeing the body on the table, bloody, bruised, swollen, mangled, and stripped of life, the image eternally scarred me. And still, I had people to lean on, shoulders to cry on, hands to hold. I went home that night overwhelmed with feelings of loss and instability. I stayed up late, unable to sleep with the vertigo of memories flooding my head. The days immediately following left me with no appetite, restlessness, and devastation. But then I found that this opened up another surprising realization – everyone was pouring our their undivided love and support for us. The flowers, gifts, calls, condolences, and offers to make dinner began just flying in one after another. We got phone calls almost literally every 5-10 minutes the following morning. But the most touching hand of love came when I encountered two girls at the funeral. Earlier in the year, we had (though this doesn’t justify the relationship of dislike we held) gotten off on the wrong foot. But they came of their own will to pay respects and offer condolences because they, and I quote, “…felt like we HAD to do something.” In no way had they been forced or urged to come, but the tiny ounce of love that we had in our hearts for each other had broken through the barriers restricting our friendship to offer a token of peace. I believe that the power and influence of love can conquer anything; I believe that love can break any obstacle. It tightened the screws on relationships I had with friends and non-friends alike. It gave me the strength and courage to step out of the shadow I had fallen into and continue my life. But most importantly, it gave me people to lean on, shoulders to cry on, and hands to hold. This I believe.