Live Life To The Fullest

Gerardo - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on March 27, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
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I believe in living my life to its full potential because there’s no telling who I can help or reach. One good example would be Walter Payton because even though he was dying he still helped as many people as possible. Walter Payton was dying from bile duct cancer and needed a liver transplant to survive, but instead of being bitter about it he made the most of it by spreading the word about organ donation and helping emotionally and physically abused children in Illinois.

Even though I’m only 16 years old I know the importance of making the most of my life and opportunities that come my way. I learned this valuable lesson after the passing of my uncle this past summer. My uncle used to come to my house at around 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings so that I could go to work with him at the local swap meet. He started doing this when I turned 10 and kept doing it until I was about 14-years-old. He taught me that work pays off by making me stack boxes and making me clean up the area in which he worked. This also taught me the value of a dollar, because after work when he would drop me off at my house I remember sometimes there was nothing to eat because my mom wasn’t home from work yet. So I would have to walk to the Mexican restaurant about 4 blocks from my house and when I would finish eating my food the feeling of knowing that I worked for the money that paid for that food was incredible.

Before I was born my uncle was shot in the back in the late 80’s while eating dinner at a restaurant in California. This left my uncle paralyzed and with no use of his lower body. He could have just given up on life but made the most of it instead and became a professional race announcer who hosted horse races. He also made a living by making custom cowboy belts. I noticed that he would always make people laugh and was the center of attention. At the time that I noticed this it made me think that I should live my life to the fullest, enjoy each and every moment with no regrets. The last time I saw my uncle was when he was laying on his bed. He couldn’t talk, he couldn’t move or do anything but lay there and wait for his death. The words that he said I will always remember: “ siguele hechando chingasos a la vida”, which means “keep on fighting with life”, just like he did. Rest in Peace Hipolito “El Siete” Hernandez 1964–2007.