This I Believe

Benjamin - Wheaton, Illinois
Entered on January 27, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, family, hope

“One Day in My Life”

If you measure time in terms of years, this was not very long ago. In fact, the seven year anniversary just passed about a month or two ago. I could remember the cool autumn air that blew the final maple leaves off our front yard trees. It was a Sunday morning, and I had just woken up from a long night of championship football. The trophy was still in the backseat of my father’s car. It read: “Bill George Youth Football League: 1999 eighty-five pound weight class runner up.” The title of the trophy probably could tell you how I felt, but let me sum it up for you. We lost.

At about nine o’clock in the morning, I saw my dad outside raking leaves. For some odd reason, he would stop about every thirty seconds, and just talk to himself. At the time I didn’t know what he was saying, or why he was saying it, so I just figured that I should go out there and give him a hand. Besides, I was starting to feel the sting of last night’s loss evade my system. But when I got within about five feet of him, he noticed my presence, and immediately handed the rake off to me. And he says: “Ben, ya’ mind finishing up the yard for me? I’ve got to go take care of something inside.”

“Sure,” I said. “What do you gotta take care of?”

“You’ll find out later.” he said, as he disappeared into the house.

After I bagged up the last of the leaves, I went back into my house, and both my mom and dad were sitting on the couch.

And my mom said “Ben, can you come in here and have a seat? There is something we need to talk to you about.”

They were both smiling as I walked into the den, and I took a seat on the other end of the room. And without another word, she said it.

“Ben, I don’t know how to put this, but your dad and I have decided to split up.”

The words were confusing at first, but all I had to do was convert the words “split up” to “divorce” and I understood. My parents were going to get a divorce.

And that’s when I cried. Probably just short of ten minutes. I think maybe it was because I had never experienced anything outside of the traditional family life, or because I thought I would never see one of my parents again. But the real reason, I think, was just the word “divorce”, or whatever alternate takes its place. That one single word had been burned into my mind as a childhood ruining experience. A demon that would end anything and everything in which you ever thought life to be.

With that being said, it is still unclear in what I believe. Do I believe in divorce? Of course not. Instead, I believe in living. I believe in rolling with the punches and living one day at a time. Because life will get better. I look back on my life seven years ago and I can’t remember a lick of it anyway. Without that one day in my life, I would have missed out on some wonderful things. Like watching my mom walk down the isle with my grandfather. Or ushering the guests at my step sister’s wedding. Without that day I could never have been a brother, or an uncle. In life, every event that comes to an end, serves as fuel for something new to begin. This I believe.