This I Believe

Elizabeth - Old Greenwich, Connecticut
Entered on April 30, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: afterlife
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“This I Believe”

I believe that no one disappears from the earth after his or her heart has stopped beating. Before my father died, I imagined death as a big white slate with no volume or depth. What would this white slate have to offer me? I had no intensions of traveling to a place where I could not touch, feel, taste, see, or smell what I wanted. At night my mind would explore the blank universe that would on occasion be black, but this place was no heaven or hell, it was nothing. If I were to travel in to the vast space, my soul would vanish, along with the remnants of me that lay on earth. The dreams of this, “nothing,” which I would sweat, wriggle and cringe at were no longer repeating my mind the day my mother told me, “Its not a good idea for you to go to the hospital anymore.”

It was something I was forced to accept, as I awaited the sound of the garage door opening underneath me every night, guessing whether my mother would bring home good or bad news from the hospital. I knew my dad was going to die, when I heard the weeping voice of my mother on the phone telling her closest friend, “…he’s skinny… and he’s not eating very much… the doctor said there is very little chance that he will make it alive out of this operation…” After accepting the fact that my dad wouldn’t be around to crack me up over the stupidest jokes, or yell at me for doing the stupidest things, I learned to be more independent. With my independence came strength to focus on my schoolwork and my social affairs, as I would carry on with my father around the house.

One extra- late night my mother came home from the cold room in which my father had been shriveling up and starving for months, and I could sense he had died. I was not upset; rather I looked towards my suffering mother and brother and said, “OK,” and ran up the stairs to continue my homework for school the next day. None of his possessions or creations had escaped to the endless white galaxy I was terrified of, instead they vibrantly stood on his desk, hung on his wall, or laid bold in his chest of drawers. Every thing my dad was involved with stood out in bold to make up for his opinionated voice that could not be heard or his body that could not be hugged.

As of today, I know my father is alive. My father helped create me, so I am re-living the life that he wanted me to live to the fullest. My dad’s personality is in the glass paperweights and granite eggs that he collected and arranged, with each beam of light bouncing off of them bringing new happiness that he used to bring to my household.

When dad was diagnosed with Lymphoma, my mom took him to the pound to pick out a dog to keep him company on the days where he was lazy from his treatment. Being the tough guy that he was, my dad ironically chose the massive, hairy, loyal, and protective Husky mix; those two were made for each other. One would follow the other, and ignore the rest, like brothers. When my dad wasn’t home anymore to be with his soul mate named, Bear, I noticed that the dog continued the routine as if my dad was there with him. Although we had to give away Bear since he was too demanding of love that only my father could supply, I know that he still lives on with my father by his side.

I have no proof that my father gave up on life, as I was not near him to feel the weakness surrounding his body. I believe that my dad was always strong like a husky, and I know he has been let free to run somewhere else on earth.