This I Believe

Robert - Jupiter, Florida
Entered on October 12, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

When I was a child I was never content with the things that were given to me. There were six of us and my parents didn’t have a lot of money to spend on items that weren’t essential for our household. For a long time I resented the fact that my parents weren’t making enough money to support us more comfortably. They were forced to rely on our church for food and financial aid as well as governmental aid like WIC checks. The older I became though, the more I realized how lucky my family was to have those programs available. I believe in being happy with what you have because no matter how bad the situation may seem it can always get worse.

It wasn’t until I experienced it first-hand that I realized the truth behind that statement. Recently my grandmother was having an extremely hard time walking because she was losing circulation in her left leg. She would often fall and have to be taken to the emergency room where she was treated several times for broken bones. Eventually she lost circulation to the leg completely and it had to be amputated. This was a traumatic experience for all of us and I didn’t think it would get any worse, but it did. A few weeks later her husband Andy died due to Parkinson’s disease at the hospice center. I can only imagine the pain my grandma must have went through during this time.

I took a good look at my family and friends after this experience. For the first time in my life I realized how lucky I was to have them. I started to become content with the things that I had and not so worried about the things I didn’t. I noticed that when I looked at things this way I was happier and less stressed out in my daily life. It also helped me to spend less on things that I don’t need and save money for my car and education. My family has all but recovered from this experience and to be honest it has really helped bring us closer to each other. I now value the time I get to spend with my family because I know that they may one day be gone and there may be nothing I can do to prevent it.