This I Believe

Jeanette - Encinitas, California
Entered on December 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death, legacy
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Soak Up The Sun

Having someone die in front of you changes your entire life. When I was fifteen, I watched my most beloved aunt die right before my eyes.

My aunt Nancy was one of those one in a million people that you were lucky to know. Of the fifteen years of memories I have of her, she is smiling in all of them. She was the one who threw family parties for no reason except to be together, she is the one who helped me climb half dome, an 18 mile hike, when I was just a kid. She always carried a fanny pack filled with everything imaginable, from a first aid kit, to extra water and candy; none of which she packed for herself. On sunny days she insisted on being outside, never wanting to waste a minute. While snow skiing in the middle of winter she once wore a tank top because she claimed that it was simply too sunny to wear a jacket. Her life motto, favorite song and the song we played at her funeral was Sheryl Crows, “Soak Up the Sun”.

Never wanting a spare minute to go by, my aunt made sure her days were filled with excitement and adventure. If she set her mind to something, it was guaranteed that it was going to happen.

One day at a family gathering she complained that she was short of breath. Next thing I know she is taken to the hospital and we were getting phone calls with worsening news. Within half an hour we got the worse call; the only words I can remember are “code blue”.

Since that day, I have strived to be more like my aunt. Although I am a born pessimist, I try every day to smile and enjoy life like my aunt always did. On sunny days I spend as much time as I can outside, never wanting to waste a minute. As often as I can I strive to make my dreams come true, to create adventure whenever and wherever I can, and to enjoy each day as though it were my last. This I believe, and as my aunt believed, that sunny days should never been wasted.