This I Believe

Scott - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 11, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family
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I Believe

“There are a lot of important things in life; however none of them come close to the importance of your family.” My dad has repeated this quote constantly throughout my 21 years of existence. Every time he used to repeat this quote I would roll my eyes and walk away. Although I have heard this quote more times then I can count, I never realized the truth behind.

I believe family is the most important thing in the world.

People do not realize the importance of family, when life is going as expected. The first 18 years of my life were extremely care free. Little did I realize at the time, life was about to throw a couple of curve balls my way. In a span of two years I lost an aunt to a rare heart disease, another aunt unexpectedly, and a grandmother to a heart attack. After my grandmothers funeral I began buying into my fathers quote, and started paying more attention to my family. Our family became a support system for one another; doing everything we could to help each other. I had no idea how much I would need this support system in the coming months.

Last semester as life was finally starting to settle down I received news that my roommate and good friend had been diagnosed with leukemia. This came as a complete shock to me as he had been diagnosed with leukemia freshman year, and had just finished receiving the chemotherapy from it. In fact this was the third time he had been diagnosed with leukemia in his life. Unfortunately he was not able to beat the disease a third time. Doctors said that his body could not take the rigors of chemotherapy anymore. He passed away six months after he had been diagnosed. This was an extremely difficult time and although my close friends provided some support, they were still mourning his death as well. It was at this time when I started receiving e-mails and phone calls from family members, some of whom I had not talked to in years. The E-mails were brief, one line expressing their sorrow most of the times, however they still meant a great deal to me.

My immediate family was also a great help. After many lengthy conversations with my parents and sisters, I was able to make some sense of what happened. This tragic time would have been even more difficult to deal with if my family was not there to talk to.

Now when my father repeats his favorite quote I nod my head in agreement. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I find myself repeating the quote to my younger sisters. My advice is to appreciate your family during the good and bad times, because although today might have gone well, you never know about tomorrow.