This I Believe

Caroline - Fredericksburg, Virginia
Entered on February 2, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

The Most Precious Life

Everyday in our lives, there are stories of sudden deaths, miracle cures, and blessings of life. Many take these miracles, and life in general, for granted. I believe in cherishing each day and living it as if it were the last.

Life is a precious gift, given to us to live fully to the highest potential. It’s something we, as humans, need to treasure more and more often. Life brings us obstacles, failures, success, love and relationships. Life also brings us family, friends, and happiness. Our relationships may not last as long as we like or hope, but that makes them much more valuable.

Growing up I had a wonderful relationship with my grandfather or, Papa, as my cousins and I called him. I loved him and believed he was the best grandfather in the world. As he got older, I had learned to value our relationship more and more. When I was in the ninth grade, my grandfather died. It was not a sudden death, but it was awful nonetheless. I knew that from then on, I would only have my memories to hold on to and cherish. I treasured all the times I would stay home sick and he would take me out to lunch; I treasured the rides he gave my cousins and me in the back of his pickup truck around the yard, and I treasured the silly nicknames he made for my cousins and me, like doodle and pumpkin pie. Today, I am still glad I cherished the time I spent with him because he was the best grandfather in the world. He always lived his life to the fullest potential.

“Each day is new, and living one day at a time enables us to truly enjoy life and live it to the fullest.” – Anonymous. Not only should we live life to the fullest and learn to cherish our relationships as we grow up, but we should live each day as if it were the last, as the saying goes, because life is unpredictable.

The same summer my grandfather died, something happened to my mother that made me realize how short life can be. The day after my family got back from our Jamaican vacation, my mother had a stroke. It shocked me because I believed she would always be around. Then it occurred to me that her life could have been taken in that single, fleeting instant. It was the scariest day of my life, seeing my still quite young mother taken away in an ambulance for a stroke that could have ended her life.

This helped me realize how, in a blink of an eye, life can be snatched from our grasp like an eagle seizing his prey in one vanishing moment. I learned to cherish relationships, love, failures, success, and life. I believe each day could be our last and should be full of love and happiness.