This I Believe

Annaliese - Rocklin, California
Entered on September 24, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

It all started my freshman year. Wanting to be mature, but stuck with the innocence of being an immature and annoying freshman. Always looking for the next best thing to make me feel more adult. When all the sudden in the blink of an eye, the scariest thing that could bring me to a much more mature state happened. My dad was diagnosed with cancer. At first it was just a tumor in his throat they could cut out, or so I thought. But then I found it was worse, a cancer called lymphoma.

I had always been a daddy’s girl. Born and raised from the time I could talk, or walk, or even crawl. To me this was huge. I tried to hold strong so that my other family members wouldn’t have to worry about me being sad or depressed about it. Obviously it was really hard to see him go through the treatments and as much as I missed seeing him everyday, it was even worse to go and see him under those conditions. I did go in on a regular basis to say hi, but he just wasn’t the same dad. Which I understood very well considering what he had to go through and put up with everyday. However, he had quickly changed. From happy, joyful, jokester dad, to almost depressed, sad, and just sort of hanging in their dad.

But even though he was going through so much, when he would come home, I would find him blasting music in his office, or trying to sneak off with his friends to hang out. The better he felt the more he would try and do, but it was seldom he felt well enough to do anything. Even though it was hard to see, I knew that he was trying very hard.

One day while he was blasting his music so loud in his office I could hear it in the house it hit me. This man is going through some of the most horrible treatments you could go through and he is still living his life and trying to remain happy. Even on bad days, he would do little things that would remind us of the old dad that we used to have, and it amazed me that he could still be so optimistic after going through such a thing. How can anyone be optimistic going through something like that? He has taught me a lot watching him go through this process. From maturity to even what I want to be when I grow up. But he has done something even more amazing for me. He has taught me what I believe in the most, to live each day as it’s your last. Because even if you are going through something terrible there is always hope somewhere and even the smallest things in life can make you happy. Remembering each day is a gift and treating it that way is the best way to live. Because who knows what can happen tomorrow, maybe it will be good maybe not so good, but either way what you have now is amazing and it alone can make you the happiest person in the world.