This I Believe

Jesus - White Swan, Washington
Entered on January 30, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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“A great mind once told me…”

While standing there in the back of the crowd in this crisp green cemetery, I reflect on my life and ask myself, “Is it all that I believe its worth, and have I embraced all life has to give,” I now put that thought behind me because the reality of the truth is too raw like a freshly cut wound on the side of your arm from the snapping release of a new line of barbwire fence being tightened and tacked down. The cut is clean and deep causing no pain but it leaves that taunting scar that reminds you of your mistakes.

While growing up I didn’t really have a father. He was gone most of the time high on drugs or in jail. Though in the time, he did spend with me. He would treat me as if I meant the world to him, but the truth was his need to fulfill the craving of drugs and alcohol was all he really cared about. So ounce again he was gone. After the routine of this for many years, I started to look at him as a stranger—a bad person inside and out. It seemed as if he planted something inside me like a termite inside a tree. I looked strong on the outside but inside I was slowly disappearing. I always questioned if that’s what I wanted to do just disappear.

His wrong doings led me to believe that no one cared about me and never will. So I went astray into the world of temptation. I didn’t care about myself or anyone around me. During that period of my life, time seemed to fly by, I believe it was because I didn’t acknowledge if as having any importance. Not until I was shocked by the illness my grandfather was diagnosed with. This also made me fell terrible because the closest thing I had to a male role model was now living in his last days.

During the time of his illness, his health seemed to go up and down like a roller coaster ride. But I remember the moments when he was in pain, the time seemed to drag on forever. Only until the last days I had left with him did they go by so fast. Even though the time flew by so fast I knew I had to absorb every minute I had left with him. I can still see myself through a mirror from across the room, that had reflected me sitting next to my grandfather’s deathbed with tears falling down my face in silenced conversation. When I was sitting there I got to tell him all I thought I needed to say. While he slept I could hear him trying to breath beyond the flem stuck in the back of his throat, and when there was nothing left to say, I sat there with my head at his side running my fingers through his soft silver hair that smelled like a fresh spring shower on a country gravel road. At times the silence was broken by family members coming in to check on us. They said things that were bitter sweet. For example one of my aunts walked in while I was sitting there by my grandfather’s side and someone accompanying her made a comment on how he was sleeping so peacefully. She told her, “ Its because he has on angel by his side.” That made me feel so honored but guilty at the same time because I haven’t always live a life of faith. That comment also made me remember a moment when I was helping my grandfather bring in firewood for the night. He was so thankful for my help. He said, “ you’re my guardian angel” and I told him “ I wish”. Sometimes I do really wish I were an angel so I can just fly away into the sky to see him and share that silenced conversation we usually shared together. But I’m not so I’ll have to wait until the Lord calls me home. Until then, I will live my life with a new outlook that I have gained from this experience. A great mind once told me, “You shouldn’t look at what you’ve lost, but at what you’ve gained from life’s adversities.” I have lost somebody special to me, but have gained the strength to stand in the world today knowing that how