This I Believe

Rachel - Nashua, New Hampshire
Entered on June 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I Believe in Living the Day

In our lives things change. Some changes will affect us, while others won’t. Everyone will one day change and grow old, people will come into your life and people will leave. Someday you will be one of them, and you will leave too.

Just last year my friend, who was a brother to me was killed. My two friends, Darren, Eddie, and I were all a big family with Rico. This was a sudden and unexpected tragedy that affected us greatly. A brother was gone and we were sure to miss him, but we knew this wasn’t what he wanted.

Rico was only sixteen when he was murdered. It was last year in September out in Puerto Rico. He was on vacation visiting family while the rest of us were home, here in the U.S. waiting for his return. About a week into his vacation we had received a call. It was his Uncle calling to tell us bad news. Rico had gotten into a fight with a few gang members. He had been stabbed in his left rib area, and had punctured his lung. After he was rushed to the hospital, we were told he was in very critical condition and would not make it through the night. The next day we had gotten the call again and were told that he didn’t make it.

He was very young, but within those few years he already knew just how to live. Darren, Eddie, Rico and I always hung out together. We were just like a family. In the many times we hung out our memories were countless, camping in the backyard, swimming in the middle of winter, sharing good times in the house, and most of all, those long late night talks about our wishes, dreams, and beliefs, things that can never be taken away from us.

In those late night talks we talked about, our days, things we wanted to do, and other random thoughts that came to our minds, but most of all we talked about just living life. We were young, and may not have been the smartest of the bunch, but we knew how we wanted to live our lives. In our talks, Rico would always talk about moving on, while Darren talked about learning from the past, and I talked about living the day. When you put all of this together you, learn from yesterday, live today, and hope for tomorrow. It was our motto for the most part, and it was also how we wanted to take on life.

Through all the sadness of Rico’s death, we soon realized what he would have wanted. We remembered everything he had talked about. Sure he wanted us to miss him, but he wanted us to learn from everything he did and didn’t do. He wanted us to move on, but never forget and always remember to live everyday like it’s our last. You are never promised tomorrow so treat it like your last, and when you are sad or upset realize that every sixty seconds you spend that way is a minute of happiness you will never get back. Make the best out of each day, take pride in yourself, and die happy. Learn from yesterday, live today, and hope for tomorrow.