This I Believe

Kate - Lake Oswego, Oregon
Entered on December 21, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change, work
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My grandmother always says, “This too will pass.” It’s amazing how four simple words can get you through almost anything. Think about it: will moping around and believing that you’re destined to fail get you anywhere? I’ve learned that no matter what happens, maintaining a positive attitude during a difficult time is essential.

My grandmother has lived through some frightening, sad situations, but every time something unfortunate happened, she kept a positive attitude and never allowed herself to be defeated. At 13, my grandma experienced a true tragedy: her father died suddenly, leaving her mother with 4 children, little money, and many bills to pay. Undaunted, my grandma decided to help provide for her family, or as she says: “I put on lipstick and high heels to look 16, and I got a job.”

About 10 years ago, her doctors diagnosed my grandma with cancer. The word cancer alone stops most people in their tracks and sends sweat pouring down their faces, like a faucet someone forgot to turn off. However, my grandma never let it get her down and eventually, after many treatments and a will that can never be beaten, she conquered cancer.

If her philosophy can get my grandma through situations that I can’t imagine, then it might work to get me through my tough situations, which, oddly enough, don’t seem so tough anymore. In second grade I suffered a blow that, although nothing compared to my grandma’s experiences, changed my life. My best friend announced her family’s plan to move – not to a different city or state – but to an entirely new country halfway across the world: Malaysia. Even though my mother promised that we would visit her family, she could have been moving to Venus in my shocked mind. The day she left the tears streamed down my face like a flood determined to do as much damage as possible. I felt lost my first day back at school; there was a void that could never be filled. But as every day went by, I began to think about it less and less, and finally, I stopped thinking about it entirely. I tried new activities, met new friends and realized that, even though it may be hard, life does truly go on.

Now, whenever life threatens to overwhelm me, I think about my grandmother’s words and somehow they pull me through. I know that because I understand this, I will have a much easier time overcoming obstacles in the future. I can just imagine myself curled up on my grandma’s lap with her whispering softly in my ear, “This too will pass.”