This I Believe

Jessica - Cenntenial, Colorado
Entered on November 12, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, illness
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“This I Believe”

I used to be the person who fell into the crowd, a person who was hidden by the walls of her own stubbornness. I was never thankful for anything- not my family, not my intelligence, not my friends. One night everything changed. The ups and the downs, the good and the bad, the unknown and the known is called life. But, I believe that, when you’ve fallen and can’t get up, family will always be there to stand you up on your feet and point you in the right direction.

My teenage years were difficult, a lot happened. School, friends, drama, sports; it was hard to keep up with it all. I had no time for my family. I was just too busy. It just seemed like a big pain, unimportant. Besides whenever my family and I actually sat down to have a conversation, it always resulted in an argument.

My parents call my insensible attitude “teenage angst”. Seeing that I have no idea what that even means, every time I hear it I just get angrier.

I have to admit, they tried. They tried to talk to me, they tried to listen, they tried to care. But, it was useless.

One night everything changed. One night my dad had to be rushed to the hospital, of course, I wasn’t there beside him. He had suffered a heart attack. My mom and he spent the whole night in the hospital.

My father was near the edge of death and about to fall, I had no idea. I didn’t know about what was happening, in fact, I didn’t care.

The next morning, when the news finally arrived to me, I felt so ashamed. Ashamed of my attitude, ashamed of my ignorance, ashamed of my inability to care.

I saw my father. He looked so vulnerable. I never in my life saw him so helpless. In every situation my father knew what to do, he was “Mr. Fix It” and when everything spun around I didn’t know what to do.

So, I cried. I cried so hard I thought my head was going to explode. How could I have not been there? How could this happen? How could I be so stupid?

From then on I promised myself that family would always come first. I learned to live my life as if every moment was irreplaceable.

Now, I cherish my life, I’m grateful for everything I have, and I love. I love with all my heart.

My interests, hobbies, friends, and sports will all change; but, one thing that will stay consistent is the love that my family has for me, and the love that I have for them. Family is the only necessity one needs in order to succeed in life. This I Believe.