This I Believe

Danielle - Noblesville, Indiana
Entered on October 18, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Life’s Too Short, Wear Your Party Pants

I didn’t want to believe the news that was brought to my attention on a late Friday night. It didn’t hit me until I drove into work the next morning when I saw my friend’s car covered in flowers and personal notes. I walked into the ghostly empty lobby in tears and sat down next to my bosses who were in the small office. We were laughing and crying while remembering the memories of my good friend, Steve. He was a smart, caring co-worker who suddenly died the night before during one of his high school hockey games. The saddest day I had to go through in my life was when my bosses and I spent the day sitting next to his hockey equipment left by the medical staff, or so I thought.

That night hundreds of people poured into the hockey rink’s lobby, many sobbing already, others lending a shoulder to cry on. A great amount of red and yellow was glowing throughout the lobby from Steve’s “party pants.” The shimmering colors started the discussion by the priest. “Why do all of you call these party pants?” he asked the group of high school students sitting in front of him. One of the students stood up and said, “Because Steve always wore these, and he was the life of the party!” Some people laughed under their tears after the response. For the next three hours, friends, family, and co-workers spoke about how much he loved life and lived it to the fullest.

After many sessions of sobbing and random laughter, everyone lit a candle and walked to Steve’s silver SUV. It was cold and damp from the recent snow fall but that didn’t stop anyone from leaving the sight of the vehicle. Some people sang, but many just stood there in silence. The priest climbed to the top of a small mound nearby and said, “Let’s pray.” After helping out a friend by lending her a shoulder to cry on, I walked over to Steve’s dad and gave him a long, meaningful hug. After I pulled away from him, he said, “I am extremely sad about this situation, but he died doing something he loved. Therefore, I am happy.”

Hearing his dad’s words and thinking about Steve’s personality made me look at a new side of life. I believe that every day should be lived as though it’s your last. There is no telling what God has in store for you tomorrow.