This I Believe

Emily - Hanover, Pennsylvania
Entered on September 19, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Simplicity Is Beauty

Every Sunday I find myself sitting on a stool across from him. Listening to stories of things he has lived through or the things he couldn’t help but love. He is a simple man, with simple thoughts. A country boy to the core who loves nothing more than watching the storms roll in and the flowers move with every gust of wind. He is my grandfather, my sturdy rock, and the person I have always tried to be.

I am eighteen now, and every bit a woman but ever since I was a young girl I can remember every car ride in the country we ever took, every storm we ever watched, and every songbird we listened to. It was the simple things he admired, and it was the simple things I came to love. He allowed me to see the world in a way most people never look at it. With busy schedules, prior engagements, and arguments between people all around us, it becomes so easy for us to forget to just look around and take it all in. However, my grandfather opened my eyes to a world free of hassle but full of life. He allowed me to see the world the way he saw it: simple yet beautiful. He opened my eyes and made me realize it was okay to drive slower if it allowed me to see the flowers as I passed, or be silent for just a moment if it allowed me to hear birds in the distance. Because of this and because of him I believe in taking time to enjoy the small things in life.

A few years ago my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer and it seemed as if my world just stopped. I tried to imagine my life without him, and was plagued with the idea of that actually happening. I couldn’t remember a time when I had seen him weak, mentally or physically. However, during the months following his diagnosis my family and I watched as he became weakened by the disease and the chemotherapy. A man once strong was now sick with something he couldn’t control. Yet as I watched my grandfather get weaker every day I admired his constant high on life. He still saw beauty through the pain and remained the man I’ve always loved. I honestly believe his optimism allowed him to overcome the cancer. Now years later he is a cancer survivor with the same outlook on life.

Now as I grow older I realize it is important for me to stay true to my grandfather’s view on life. After my grandfather recovered from cancer, I vowed to myself that I would always take the time to realize the beauty on this earth, instead of spending my time focusing on what is wrong with it. For this beautiful outlook on life, I have my grandfather to thank. I will forever be grateful to him for teaching me what is really important, and for allowing me to realize what I believe.