This I Believe

Tin - Arlington, Virginia
Entered on September 20, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that sometimes loud is better. When my parents yell at me, not only does it make me feel angry, but their voices echo inside my head. It frustrates me that they are repetitive and they constantly talk about the same thing over and over again. Sure, I could listen to them lecture me about school, life, and the opportunities I have that they didn’t. It used to be possible, but over a period of time of constant reminders, I grew annoyed of their voices. I just wanted to be left alone, in my own world, with the sounds that pleases my ears.

It was three in the morning when the house phone rang and woke me up from sleep. I heard the sound of my dad’s footsteps scraping through the carpet. Finally, the sound stopped and the ringing ended. I was too tired to get out of bed and see who was calling, so I stayed still. There were the slightest movements of my eyes, trying to see in the dark room. I could hear the mumbling of my dad’s voice through my door as he walked back and forth through the hallway.

His voice grew louder, and soon my mom was awake also. The voices stopped, and my bedroom door opened. There, stood the figure of my mother who walked towards me, and sat down on top of my bed.

“Who called?” I asked.

There was a two to three second pause, and finally she replied. She told me it was my uncle from Vietnam who called. She continued after another pause, telling me that my grandmother was sick and died just a few hours ago. When the news struck me about my grandmother passing away, it was too hard to grasp and seemed almost surreal. I couldn’t go back to bed because my brain wouldn’t stop thinking, and my heart wouldn’t stop beating at a faster rate than normal. I thought about many things that night.

The unpredictability of death is a tragedy that became clearer to me. A series of “what ifs” popped into my head one after the other. What if one day my parents are gone too? What if one day all the lectures, and yelling, and annoyances stop? What if one day their voices are gone forever?

Many things in life are taken for granted, and I believe the sound of your parents is one of them. Although my parents’ voices annoyed me, the absence of my parent’s voices would depress me. I cannot prevent them from dying because death is inevitable. I can only value the time I have when they are here, and cherish the moments when they are speaking. While their action shows me their love, it is their sound that shows me their presence.