This I Believe

Kiersten - Sandy, Utah
Entered on January 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death, gratitude
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I believe in inspiration from death. The death of a friend or family member has the gripping power to cripple your emotions with a single blow. We often take these shocks as those that will scar your life and flood you with sadness for an eternity. It’s usually easier to take that approach than to attempt to keep living your life as normal. Everything that surrounds you reminds you of what you have lost. I don’t think there has been a single day of my entire life where I have not thought about my sister. But, I have learned to turn those thoughts into happy memories, not into blanketing misery.

Her life has inspired me. Every day I meet new challenges and opportunities, opportunities she could never have. In a world with so much beauty and accomplishments to behold, it seems an awful waste not to grab every chance given to you to do something amazing. There is always her voice in the back of my head pushing me to do better and work harder. I have my own cheerleader pumping me up for every obstacle I face.

It saddens me when I see people my own age faced with the circumstances to make a difference and be someone who can make a positive contribution to the world, and throw that away because they are too lazy to do something as simple as homework. Here you are with all the chances one could have, and you waste it. Merely having access to an education is something that millions of people do not have. In America, we don’t have to sit on mud benches in a hut with no roof to learn. Right here and right now, I can be whatever I choose to be if I take advantage of what is in front of me, and I have the drive and inspiration to do so.

It’s because of my sister that I have a reverence for life. I see beauty in everything, large or small. Appreciating the small things in life is something I have come to enjoy, because it could all be gone in an instant. Most of the time, we don’t realize how much we loved something until it is gone forever. I love the people at my school, my friends, and my family. I am grateful for the things they do for me and give to me, even if it’s just a smile. I can’t say I love you enough times to them.

I know in my heart that she would be proud of me. With her voice inside me, I am invincible. Nothing can push me so far down that I won’t get back up. I will always keep striving to make my mark on the world. There are times when it becomes too much, and my grief takes over. But, I know that she would want me to celebrate the life we shared together, and not mourn the life we didn’t.