This I Believe

Jacqui - Wilmington, Massachusetts
Entered on December 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem, death

I believe in living in the present. As much as people say they live in the moment, most people plan for the future constantly without even realizing it. I am 15 years old, currently in high school, and having a good time while I can. Up until now, I have cared so much about getting good grades in order to get in to a good college and have a good life after that. I plan for parties and events that are so far away and sometimes miss out on the chance to do things that day. However, I have come to realize that as much as you think nothing bad could ever happen to you or someone you love, it could.

One of my best friends was at track practice one day when she started to feel dizzy and then went unconscious. She was rushed to the hospital and put into immediate surgery. She had a brain aneurism. When I heard what happened, I didn’t know how to react. There were no warning signs that would ever make us believe that this could happen to her. There was nothing we could do, but wait.

I came to realize how many times we overreact due to little problems in our lives, instead of realizing that things could be so much worse. The next day, we saw that she was in a horrible condition and very unstable. My sister and I went into the hospital to be there for her sister and family. When we arrived, we saw that the waiting room was full of relatives and her close friends. Nobody was talking. There were so many people, yet nobody made a sound. I am the type of person who can’t deal with silence and I am usually never at a loss of things to say. But when I went in the room to see my friend, I was at a complete loss of words. To see your best friend in such a terrible condition was very hard. She was hooked up to a ton of wires, there was major swelling on her head, her hair was shaved, and she had a breathing tube down her throat. I looked around the room and saw numbers flashing that I didn’t understand. I saw everyone in the room crying, and I knew the numbers couldn’t mean good things. I was in complete shock. I had no idea that something like this could happen to someone so close to me. She was only 17 at the time. A few weeks before we had talked about our plans for the Thanksgiving football game, and Christmas vacation without even considering the chance that she wouldn’t be there with us.

When I was standing next to her bed, looking at her, I realized not to take anything for granted. I believe that we truly need to live in the present and not waste any moments with people we love. Since then, she was able to pull the strength to improve. Over the next few weeks, she finally moved out of the hospital and into rehab where she had to learn basic things all over again. She was very lucky and I think getting through these tough times will make our friendship even stronger. I believe true friends are always there no matter what. I have started to appreciate my family and friends more with all of these events and I know that when she is able to do everything with us again, we will definitely live for the moment. Planning so far in advance can make you miss out on things right in front of you. I believe in doing things that make you happy. I believe in not holding onto regret, cherishing each moment with people you love, and living for today.