This I Believe

Luke - Danbury, Wisconsin
Entered on November 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Too many people take life for granted: I can truly say that I am not one of them

When was the last time you took your life or the life of someone else for granted? I can think of one distinct time when I took my mom and her life for granted. It was last fall during my freshman year at UW-Stout. I was talking on the phone to my mom, which I never really liked doing because she was a mom. It seems like moms always talk forever. I didn’t like talking to my mom on the phone for more than 15 minutes because if I talked to her for that long, she would certainly keep me on the phone for at least another half hour talking about God knows what.

I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. “Alright mom, I have to get going, I will talk to you later, BYE!” “Okay, I love y…” But before my mom could finish, I hung up without responding even though I knew what she had said, “Click.” I was free at last from talking to my mom! A few nights later around two in the morning, I was just starting to fall asleep when I heard my phone ring with my ring tone that I personally set for the people in my family. The ringing was a serrated knife cutting deeper and deeper into me, turning my body into an icicle of fear, nervousness, and worry. I snatched my cell phone off my desk not wanting to know who was on the other line, but knowing that something was wrong with a family member. It was my Aunt Jo on the other end of the line. She said, “Hello baby, now don’t panic.” I responded in a faint voice, “What is it? Is everyone okay? Is Grandma alright? Is my mom okay?” My Aunt Jo squeaked out, “Your mother was in an accident on her motorcycle, and she is being air-lifted to North Memorial Hospital in Minneapolis.”…Silence filled the air for what seemed like an eternity. I was frozen solid, speechless with confusion, sickness, and panic. “Is she alive, will she be okay?” I said. “Your mother was going around a curve on her bike and hit sand and gravel and was thrown off her bike; there is a deep gash in her head, she also ruptured her spleen, and bruised her kidney, and a few ribs, but she is going to be all right. There is nothing you can do tonight, except stay calm. You should drive to North Memorial in the morning,” my aunt replied. I hung up the phone without saying anything. I imagined my mom laying there on the road in a twisted position from the crash; her face contorted, blood running everywhere, moaning from the unbearable pain she must have felt. She was a victim of a death trap set by Mother Nature with the intentions for the worst.

Have you ever felt like saying, “Why me, and why my family, or why my loved ones?” If you have, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. My mom was betrayed, or so I felt at the time. That night I did something I’ve not done since my Aunt Jan was sick with cancer. I prayed. I prayed for justice. I prayed for mercy. I prayed for my mom to make it, and be all right. My mom survived and is alive and well today.

This I believe…before my mom’s near-death accident, I took her and her life for granted. When I would talk to her on the phone I would hang up without saying four simple words back to her, “I Love You Too.” I was never one to say it to her first either. After nearly losing the one and only mother I have, I will never again take her life or anyone else’s including my own for granted ever again. I now live my life to the fullest and I see to it that my mom does the same each and everyday. Since then, I pick up the phone and call my mom to tell her I love her and miss her, not the other way around.