This I Believe

Kerstin - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on December 5, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: afterlife, family

The Other Side of the River

My Pop Pop was the person I was closest to in the whole world. He was my hero, friend, and the liveliest person I have ever known. I still today look back at how fortunate I was to have his love and support. He always thought about us grandkids before himself and treated us as equals. He looked at life as an adventure waiting to be explored, the idea which he passed on to me at a young age. Our favorite place to be was Disney World because we could be ourselves and it was an adventure every time we went. The one thing I will remember for the rest of my life is what he said right before his death, “I will just be on the other side of the river waiting for you.”

I never realized how the little, simple things affected me. Whether it was teaching my brother and I how to play blackjack, how to find the perfect walking stick, or how to make homemade eggnog they were all simple useful “how to’s.” My Pop Pop taught me to look at the glass half full rather than half empty, this idea I try to use in my everyday life as frequently as possible. I think the only time I actually looked at the glass half empty was the few days after his death.

When I was about ten or eleven, I recall being at a craft show with my mother and grandmother and I saw a girl a few feet away. She was about my age and was with her grandpa. I thought why my grandpa, why couldn’t it have been her grandpa in that white-sheeted bed with cancer. Why couldn’t he have been the one that died?

Now I know how selfish I was for thinking that. I wouldn’t wish the loss of a loved one, even on my most rotten enemy. I have arrived at a point in my life where I understand that he is in a better place and that I should live my life as an adventure, the way he would want me to live it. This I believe that when the day comes I will have lived my life to it’s fullest and will join my Pop Pop on the other side of that river.