This I Believe

Amanda - Columbus, Ohio
Entered on November 13, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in not taking things for granted. I believe this because you never know when you or a loved one will be taken away from this place.

My whole life I grew up having the constant support of my family. But I’ve always had a special relationship with my dad. Since the day I was born he has been there for me, whether coaching or cheering for me or scolding me for not living up to my potential in school. Although I went through that awkward rebellious teenager stage and convinced myself that my parents were out to ruin my life, my father and I still have a wonderful relationship and I love him and respect him more than ever.

In March of 2006, towards the end of my freshman year of college, something most devastating happened to our previously “unbreakable” family. My father, whom I always thought to be immune to anything, was admitted to the hospital. My father suffered 3 mini-strokes. It was the scariest day of my entire life. I cannot tell you exactly how I felt, but I can tell you that waiting to find out if he was going to be okay was miserable.

Do I live each day taking my loved ones for granted? I know I did before that day. I never really thought about how blessed I was. I had it all and didn’t think anything of it. But that day changed everything. I lived life fighting with my parents over stupid things like a curfew or dating. I even went as far as lying to them. I hurt both of them pretty badly, but it really hurt my dad the most. He didn’t think I, his baby girl, could lie to him like that. Neither did I really, but I did. I did so many stupid hurtful things. Luckily I had time to apologize. But what if I would have fought with my father over something stupid on Wednesday night? What if we had gone to bed that night angry at each other? What if I had told my dad I hated him and then he had not of survived the strokes? Could I have lived with myself? Did I tell him I loved him enough? Did I let him know how much I appreciated all he did for me? These were questions I asked myself while sitting in the waiting room that day.

Sometimes I catch myself wanting to fight with my parents over something stupid and I stop myself. I find myself going a couple of days without talking to my parents and feeling guilty. It’s a good thing, I think, because I never know when they might be gone. I hope that if I shall die, or lose one of my family members, they will know that I loved them. They will know that they were the most important people on earth to me because I didn’t take them for granted.