This I Believe

Amy - Greenville, North Carolina
Entered on August 25, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, love
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I believe in love.

My grandfather sat uncomfortably in the chair beneath the television while Grandma sat to his right, occasionally reading the paper and tending to his every need. I walked into the hospital room that Sunday, unprepared for what I’d see.

I had decided long ago that Pop-pa had nine lives and technically this bout with cancer would only take his fifth. I knew there was time for four more. Let’s see, first there was the horrible tractor accident that left him crushed beneath. A few years later, there was the car wreck, which took another life and left Pop-pa severely injured.

And then it was cancer; a battle he has fought for the last ten years. It would go away, come back, go away, come back, and that brings us to that particular Sunday.

I entered the cold, bare room after being made to scrub my hands thoroughly. There they both sat and for a second, I just watched. Even in the foreign environment under such heavy circumstances, they both seemed content.

Again, his hair was gone, his skin yellow, and his body tied to machines. However, his spirit was alive and no matter how much it hurt to laugh and smile with his granddaughter, the pain never won.

I watched Grandma as she better positioned his IV for the company, straightened his shirt, fetched him his juice, adjusted the volume on the television, and wiped away his bloody nose. She didn’t seem tired, regardless of the hour drive she made each morning and night. She didn’t seem bored without the amenities of her own home. And here she was, nursing her husband of 49 years; something she’s grown accustomed to after all this life.

In their mid-sixties, you could say my grandparents have seen it all together. They’ve endured more than their share of hardships. Yet, they are still living, side by side. Almost half a century ago, they made a vow “for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”

My grandparents sat in hospital rooms that spring for nearly two months and the battle still continues. However, it is their love for one another and for this family they have created that has kept them ever so strong.

So I simply believe in love. I believe in the giving and the receiving of such an amazing emotion. I believe that people, together, as one, can endure almost anything. And with love, a life, no matter how short or long, will be complete. This I believe.