Taking Relationships for Granted

Makaela - Lincoln, Nebraska
Entered on April 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, gratitude
  • 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.

I started realizing how much I take the people in my life for granted when I ran into some tragic events with my grandparents and cousin. When I was 10 years old my grandparents decided to take my cousin, Keenan, and I on a trip to Denver, Colorado. We would go to Six Flags, hike, and camp. The first night that we arrived at our camp site my grandma had a heart attack. It was one of the scariest things that I’ve ever witnessed. I never thought something like that would happen to me. Keenan and I spent the next 24 hours in the hospital by my grandma’s side hoping that she would be okay. She ended up having by-pass surgery and lived, but I will never forget the experience.

The next year my grandparents decided to make up for our lost trip to Denver, and decided to take us to Saint Louis. Again, we were going to camp, go to Six Flags, and just hang out around the city. The first night we got there we were hit by a drunk driver on the Interstate. Our car flew forward, across the median, across the on coming lanes of traffic, then hit the cement wall separating the other lanes of cars, and came all the way back to where we started only about two blocks ahead. We almost had a semi truck hit us dead on when we crossed the lanes of traffic, but luckily the semi swerved and missed us. I was rushed to the hospital for a neck injury, I was placed on a backboard for hours upon hours, with a neck brace on, and supports all around me. Keenan had to get x-rays on his knees because the seats in front of us had flown so hard back into us. A few years later he ended up having surgery on his knees. Fortunately both of my grandparents only came out with a few bruises and minor cuts.

We were able to continue our trip, but had to take it pretty slow the next couple of days. Keenan and I were always very close, but these incidents definitely made us a lot closer. Having these sort of events happen in my life made me realize at a young age that anything can happen, even to me and the people I love. It brought my family a lot closer, and made me realize to cherish the relationships with people that I have and take nothing for granted.