This I Believe

Tara - 06824, Connecticut
Entered on May 28, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, gratitude

I believe in many things, some stronger than others. My beliefs come from the influence of events, people and even myself. Those things help me to be a good person and to do what I feel is right. I do believe in something very strong. I believe that time wont stop for anyone. It is a belief that has been instilled in my head from a previous experience and a belief that my grandfather helped me to learn when it was almost too late. It has also helped me a lot since the time I learned it.

My whole life I had been visiting my grandparents on a majority of the weekends. My grandmother was always a very warm and welcoming person and I really enjoyed my visits because of that. My grandfather, however, was not a very welcoming person. He was more serious and did not talk very much. Since my grandfather wasn’t very outgoing, no one was very close to him.

When summer comes around, I always go to live with my mom. She lives in New Jersey and when I leave for the summer I rarely come home. It is a long time away from home, but I have friends, family and a job there. One night when I came home I received a phone call from my father with the news that my grandfather had been diagnosed with cancer. I was at a loss for words and just came home straight away. No one had any idea that he was even sick in the slightest bit, so it came as a shock to everyone. When I got home I went to the hospital before I even went home. He already looked very sick and I knew how painful the treatments were. It was so hard to just watch him lye there. I would really just sit there and watch him sleep, I was really upset about it and spent every day that I visited him just wishing he would get better. I would barely say anything and I knew in the back of my mind that I just did not want to accept what was happening. His cancer was very serious and he was not looking good.

When I went in about a month later they told us that he did not have much time left. I automatically panicked because I had never been in a situation like this before. The news flash made me realize I knew nothing about him. For the past month I had been sitting in a chair wasting the little time I had with him, rather than savoring it. Everyday we started to talk a little more until I had finally truly met my grandfather for the first time. It was almost too late, but I managed to learn a lot about him by asking questions. He turned out to be a very nice man, he was just more content not speaking about personal things. I asked him a lot about his past and found it to be very interesting.

Realizing that time wouldn’t stop for me made me a little more appreciative about everything from that point on. It was a valuable lesson to learn in such a short amount of time, but it was worth it. That lesson has now turned into my strongest belief and I try to think about it as much as I can. Always having that in the back of my mind really does put into perspective just how lucky I am. When my grandfather passed away I felt like I really knew him, which made me sad. When I thought about the whole situation it was actually a good thing that I was sad because I was close with him. I was happy that something so tragic had a good side to it also. The only reason I even got to know my grandfather was because of the realization that time is not going to stop for me. It pushed me to learn about him and use my time to the fullest.