This I Believe

Niki - Miami, Florida
Entered on December 10, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Section 3

Mrs. Gallup November 20, 2007

This I Believe Essay

Hi. My name is Niki Sacks, I’m 15 years old and I live in Miami, Florida. I

am a person that isn’t all that religious and has very little faith in what some like to

call a “God”, but when I heard about this incredible tale of patience and gratitude, I

was captivated and decided that maybe it was time for a change.

It was a gloomy, rainy day on December 12th, 1995, which happened to be a

Friday. David Goldmann had just turned 7 years old but wasn’t in the mood to be

doing any celebrating. For his birthday, he was sitting next to a hospital bed in

downtown Detroit staring at his almost lifeless father who had suffered from a fall

and was in a coma. Every day for the last year David had been in his dad’s hospital

room doing homework afterschool until his divorced mother came to pick him up

at 9 p.m. Every evening right before his mother came, David visited a dying

homeless man that shared a room with his father. Captain, as he called himself,

always recited the Hebrew alphabet before he fell asleep. That Friday, David

mustered up the courage to ask Captain about it. Captain mumbled a bit, then said

it was because he didn’t know any Jewish prayers, but if he said the letters it would

come together as every prayer all in one. David, feeling a bit smarter, asked him if

he would ever stop. Captain blatantly spat out “No!” and fell asleep, frightening

David a bit but leaving him to wonder. The next day, David found out Captain had

passed, and as the nurses were cleaning out the room, the doctors came in and told

David that his Dad had a 12.6% chance of waking up. David promised himself he

would keep Captain’s legacy by reciting his prayer every night to his father in

hopes of him waking up.

A year later, the doctors came in again and told David it was time to pull the

plug. He asked for his last 10 minutes with his breathing father. The doctors agreed

and left David to himself. At 8 years old, this was a lot for David to be dealing

with. But he knew what had to be done. And he began. Alef, the first letter, Bet,

the second letter, Vet, the third letter, David began to weep heavily, Gimmel, the

fourth letter, and so on. Once he finished the last letter, he closed his eyes and

hoped for a miracle, but nothing came. He kissed his father on the forehead and

said his last goodbye, and the doctors walked in. Just as David turned his back on

his father, he closed his eyes and reminisced on all the memories he had and a tear

rolled down his cheek. Just then, he heard the heart rate machine slowing down.

All of a sudden, a whisper in his ear: Alef, it said. Bet, it continued. Gimmel,

David and the whisper recited simultaneously. The heart rate slowly began rising,

and David started reciting faster. Daled, he shouted out loud. Hay, screamed him,

but it wasn’t the whisper this time. It was his father, who was crying hysterically as

he proudly stared into his son’s eyes. David had kept his faith in the unknown, and

his patience and honest belief repaid him in the end.

This story tested my belief in a higher being, and it passed. I don’t think that

there is a God constantly checking on you and that is always there, but if there is

something that is for sure, I believe that God is there when you need him most.