You Only Got Now

Trisha - Windsor, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

December 26, 1996. Christmas lights, presents, and decorations; that is what every four year old child is thinking about right after Christmas. I, like every child, was taking advantage of all the presents I had received that year. I got one of those new play kitchens, that, every little girl wanted. I was so absorbed into playing with it that I really did not pay attention to anything else around me. I had just finished ‘baking’ a pie and was ‘rinsing’ the dishes, when my mom called:


I hesitated, but reluctantly ran out to the front door to see my Gram leaving. I said good bye and quickly ran back into the front room to play with my new toy. I heard a lot of noise coming from out front and went to go investigate.

This memory will live with me for the rest of my life- MY Gram, the one who was always there, who never yelled when I did something dumb, who made the perfect scrambled eggs, sitting in the back of my great aunt’s car not moving; her eyes closed, her face as lost and empty as puppy in the pound. At first I did not comprehend what was happening and my mom quickly hurried me back into the house to watch Rugrats.

“Stay here!”

That is all she said and went back outside. Soon the fire department came and then, an ambulance arrived. Still I was oblivious to it all. Not until my mom started crying, and when Gram was being put in the back of the ambulance did I understand. Gram was dead.

Twelve years have passed and not a single day goes by that I think it could be my last. No one expected Gram to die the day after Christmas, hey, neither did I. Sometimes I lay in my bed at night and wonder just how long I have, who I’ll meet, and regret any fights I had that day. If I will be able to say that I am sorry, or all the moments I did nothing and I could have done something, and how I lived my life in a big blur. I get so mixed up with everything I have to do for later, that I don’t focus on now. No one, not even me has a guaranteed tomorrow, I only have now. This, I believe.