This I Believe

Rebecca - Lemont, Illinois
Entered on February 8, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death
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Staying Strong

When I last saw my Uncle Bob, I wanted to bawl my eyes out. Just seeing him, lying there in that coffin, so lifeless, it just broke my heart. I wanted to pay my last respects, just my last goodbye, and when I looked at his face; my heart was torn in half. His face was covered with more makeup than I had ever seen a dead person wear. I thought that he deserved more respect than this.

When my uncle was about 20, he was in the navy, and for that, he had my respect. He was released and later, he became a tenth degree black belt in karate, and it just amazed me that when he was 60 years old, he was still practicing karate. He had determination, and he was my hero.

In December of 2003, our family was shocked with the fact that my uncle had developed pancreatic cancer. It was heart wrenching to know that someone so strong and fit at his age of 64, he still was not invincible to the cancer’s life threatening effects. My uncle was losing weight fast, which meant I was losing him, for good. Whenever our family got together, I would never see him anymore. He would just stay in his bedroom and be miserable. I had just wished I would be able to see him again, but I never did, until his wake.

When someone has pancreatic cancer, they usually live from two months to a long five months. My uncle had lasted one and a half years, which my family and I were so proud of him for his determination to live. I support what people with cancer do to survive, and I respect them for it, because everyone should have the chance to live. They give a new meaning to Staying Strong.