This I Believe

Heidi - Sammamish, Washington
Entered on March 13, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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“As this heartless thing called Alzheimer’s made them fade away, gradually it took the gleam from those once so loving eyes.” (Ellen Miller). Some people don’t realize that the people really fade, they fade to the point of where they don’t remember your name, when they were there at birth. They are startled when you walk in the door because they don’t know who you are, and you have to re-introduce yourself for what seems like the millionth time.

I believe that the love we give away is the love we keep.

In the beginning of 5th grade I moved to Washington from Ohio. It was one of the hardest things for me to do. I was moving away from my grandpa who had Alzheimer’s. It was something that we all knew was going to happen, we just didn’t know when. I was feeling a little down about the whole situation one night so I put the movie Heidi on, it reminded me of how close me and my grandpa were. After the movie I cried my eyes out and my mom told me everything was going to be okay, and that while she was in Ohio she would tell him I said hi and that I missed him. The next day at school she came to pick me up early. I thought she was going to tell me that I get to go with her to visit. She walked me down the steps and said, “You get to come to Ohio with me, but grandpa died earlier today.” That day April 30, 2003 I will never forget, my best friend, the greatest influence in my life, my grandpa died. I didn’t know what to do or say, and I couldn’t even cry because I had done so much of that the night before. All I could think about was how different my life was going to be even though we lived several thousand miles away. He had been my best friend, when I was little, after dinner he would let me dip my vanilla wafers in his coffee, he would ride me around in his wheel barrel, he would tell me all his stories about growing up on a farm with 14 brothers and sisters. The one that meant the most was after he got really sick and after I moved I had to have surgery on my ankle, and although he couldn’t remember exactly what was going on he still knew it was something important and wanted to call me. If it wasn’t for the love that I had for him it wouldn’t have been so difficult for me to get over his loss. All that love that I gave him is now the happiness that I remember having with him. It’s the love that I gave him that made him smile, and that smile that I draw in my head every day keeps me going to try my best and follow my dreams.