This I Believe

Ashley - Elizabethtown, Indiana
Entered on September 26, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Take Time to Live

I first saw him in July. He had a scar that ran from the right side of his forehead to the middle of the left side of his scalp. The grass stains on his jeans looked as if he had just played a game of ultimate frisbee. His orange T-shirt had mud on the right shoulder. His smile stretched from ear to ear emitting a glow of warmth.

That evening my boyfriend, Moses, was talking to him. We were at church camp where the boys were staying in the same dorm. “What are you two doing?” I asked while they were laughing.

“Its guy stuff. You wouldn’t understand,” they replied.

“Oh,” I replied while leaning forward to pick up the picture I dropped out of my Bible. “By the way my name’s Ashley.”

“I’m Steve-O,” he yelled softly as a group of chatty girls strolled by. We smiled. I grabbed Moses’ hand as Steve-O nodded and we headed our separate directions.

Around ten –thirty that night we were huddled around a campfire singing worship songs as the wind brushed our faces. Once we finished singing, one of the counselors stepped up and introduced Steve-O.

She said, “Ya’ll know Steve-O. Tonight instead of us speaking we thought we’d give him a turn. Give it up for Steve-O.” The teens hollered. Steve-O came out with a big smile and threw his arms up in the air as if he had just won the super bowl.

Things began to quiet down as I leaned up against Moses and Steve-O started his story. “Some of you have been asking where I got this scar. Two years ago I started getting really bad migraines. I went to the doctor and had things checked out. They ran some tests and found out I had a brain tumor.” He paused, then continued, “They told me that I was going to have my first surgery in a few weeks. When they listed the risks and said there was only a fifty-percent chance of survival, my eyes began to flood. I decided to live everyday serving Christ and others and hopefully make it a little longer.”

“My first surgery went fine. I was terrified when I went in, but I kept telling myself, ‘I have to do this’.” By this point Steve-O was crying and yelling. “I could die any day now, but I feel better knowing I made a difference. This September, I’m having another surgery. The tumor has gotten bigger and there’s even a less chance I’ll make it. Just pray for me.”

On the last day of camp Steve-O read me a letter someone had gave him. It read, “Steve-O, you live out each day to its full potential. You are my inspiration. From now on that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to live each day as if it were my last because you never know when life will end.”