This I Believe

Caitlin - Palm Desert, California
Entered on May 29, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe strongly that everything happens for a reason. I believe this is the case whether something positive happens in one’s life, or whether a horrible tragedy occurs. I understand, of course, that at the time of a supposed tragedy, the last thing a victim of circumstance wants to do is think about the positives that could come out of a death of a close friend, a harsh breakup, or a missed opportunity. However, when push comes to shove, I feel that the only way of accepting whatever it is that happened to you, you must accept the events that soon follow. Soon, I am sure, you will be faced with an opportunity that you would not have had, had your tragedy not befallen you.

When I was in fourth grade, my brother befriended a boy in his kindergarten named Connor. His family had just moved here from Michigan, and as our families became close, I learned that Connor had an older sister in third grade. Though there wasn’t too much association with other grades at my school, Connor’s sister, Caitlyn and I, became fast friends as well.

Now, after spending more and more time with Caitlyn, I became rather close with her family, including her cousin Robby, who was a year older than I. Robby and I became good friends as well, which eventually grew to a childlike infatuation. We went to different schools, so we eventually drifted apart. As the years carried on, I spoke to Robby less and less, and by the time we were in high school together, we had becomemere acquaintances.

Caitlyn and I had our ups and downs as well. We had minor fights, major fights, and were the best of friends… it varied throughout the years. Come my senior year of high school, we started off as good friends, but in October or so, a rift came about. To be perfectly honest, I can’t even remember what we were fighting over.

Robby came into choir one random Friday afternoon. He had already graduated, and was there to see his friend. There were going to be leaving town to go dirt biking. He and I smiled awkwardly, yet politely at one another, and I left without really speaking too him. Robby died that night. After taking his bike out after dark, he’d gotten stuck in soft sand, run into a boulder, and fallen into a ditch. He died on impact.

I was in shock. I had never had a friend die before, and I remember snapping at my mom to leave me alone when she came into my room Saturday night, crying, to tell me what had happened.

Robby’s death was a tragedy. He was only 19 years old, and there was nothing right or natural about him having to die. However, as I stated before, everything happens for a reason. With Robby’s death, Caitlyn and I resolved whatever fight we had been in earlier that month. The funeral brought our choir so close, we’re unbreakable. And most importantly, I now know how important it is to not take life for granted. I wish things has be different between Robby and I, so I do my best not to jeopardize my friendships. You only live once. Embrace it.