This I Believe

Brittany - Lakewood, Ohio
Entered on September 20, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in living life to its fullest… no matter how long, or short, one’s life may be. When I was in the seventh grade, I met my friend Eric. When I met him, he was going through chemotherapy for throat cancer. Throughout the next few years, Eric battled his cancer. He loved football, and played for his high school team. He was the University of Michigan’s #1 fan, and dreamed of playing for them some day. One thing I particularly remember about Eric is that he never felt bad for himself. He barely acknowledged the fact that he had cancer because he did not want his peers and friends to focus on that. Eric simply wanted to have a good time just as everyone else was, and that is exactly what he did. In the time that I knew Eric, he went into remission for his cancer two times, and after the second, his cancer came back. This time, however, the cancer spread to his brain and affected Eric more drastically than it had before. By this time, Eric was ending his freshman year of high school; he did not return to school when sophomore year began. He was in and out of chemotherapy, and remained at home with his grandparents, going through treatments and receiving visits from dozens of friends every single day. I remember one particular time seeing Eric out, when he was at his sickest… he was still smiling and enjoying the company of his friends and family, still cheering on his football team, the football team that consisted of over fifty players that all shaved their heads for Eric. In December of our sophomore year, Eric passed away at home. I have yet to be at a funeral with such a big turn out as Eric’s. He had so many friends, so much family, two little sisters that loved him more than anything. Every day I feel awful that Eric’s life was taken so early… a mere sixteen years old. It doesn’t seem fair at all. I know, however, that Eric never let anything get him down, and he never held back in enjoying the time that he had. I believe in living my life that way, with total happiness and total appreciation. I believe in life in general, in the beauty of it, in the possibilities that lay before us every single day. I believe in opening my eyes to what is around me.