This I Believe

Katie - Traverse City, Michigan
Entered on May 23, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

One Person’s Difference

I believe: such a simple statement, yet the words that follow have the ability to define a person. I believe is a statement I hold very dear to my heart. Almost two years ago, I lost a very close friend to cancer. I told myself earlier this year that I wouldn’t write about that time of my life in anything being shared publically, because it seems too personal. But when I saw the title of this essay, it felt wrong not to.

My friend had a heart of gold, and a smile to light up any room. But what made her such an inspiration to so many in this small town was her faith. Throughout her battle, she demonstrated the courage that only comes with unwavering faith in God. At the age of 16, she seemed to have all life’s answers figured out. She lived and loved with her whole heart, not just speaking her faith, but living it everyday of her short life. Towards the end of her journey, people around her started wavering in their own faith in God, questioning why she had to suffer the way she did. With one simple phrase, she restored our faith, she gave us the hope we all needed. With one mere word, she kept her faith alive in the lives of those she loved. Believe was all she said and that was enough. Through her witness and devotion to her faith, she changed the lives of many. She touched more people than I will ever know. Her journey will never be forgotten, at least not in the community at St. Francis, my small Catholic school in Northern Michigan.

Now, after her death, it’s my turn to believe. What I believe is that one person can make a difference. Whether it’s that of a doctor, saving lives; a mother, raising lives; or a fire fighter, protecting lives, anyone can make a difference. Even if your profession doesn’t allow you to do so, your life should. Smiling at the new kid in the hallways, holding the door open for an elderly couple, or even letting your little brother win in a game of basketball. You’d be surprised at what can truly make a difference. We aren’t all called to a life that affects many, as my friend’s did, but everyone, no matter who you are or what you do, can make a difference in at least one person’s life.