The sound of silence is broken by the harsh beeps of the alarm clock. My eyes slowly open to the sun beams streaming through the sheer window curtains. It is a new day, full of possibilities and wonder. But these days, I feel like a dandy lion blowing in the wind trying to find happiness. Through the many experiences of life: love, cancer, death, fears, and hope, my heart is breaking to rest, to find my happiness. From the experiences of my short time on Earth I have learned from my father that happiness is a choice.
I watched my father battle 17 years of brain cancer; it was a long slow deterioration of the human spirit. It was a downward spiral after the diagnosis. He could not communicate like the other dads. I did not understand his mumbled, slurred, unspoken, misused words. He knew my name, but forgot how to say it. I can still remember the sunny summer morning the doctor took his seat on the hard teal chair in his stark white office, just like he had done a thousand times before, and inadvertently told my family and I my dad was not going to make it through this illness. With no emotion, the doctor was right.
The loss of a life teaches the soul pain, and the appreciation of joy in life. My family chose to celebrate the life of my father. However, I was only 5 years old when he was diagnosed and did not know the man that he was before the cancer took over his body. I knew he was policeman, but I did not know all that he did for the Los Angles County Police Department, that he was an advocate for the rights of abused children. The doctors gave him 6 months to live, but he got much more, and I got to know a man of courage, a man eager for life. He lived a short life, but one of happiness.
Now at the age of 22, I chose to celebrate my father through my life. I look for the rainbow to come after the rain. It is definitely not that simple when life gets tough. It is much easier to sit in bed and cry when life is hard, and I have done that. But happiness feels better. I am learning to choose happiness. I choose to greet strangers with a hello and a smile on the path. I sit on the sofa of a coffee shop, people come up to talk, I listen. I find happiness there. I am the only one who can make the choice to find the joy in my life. Through life we need courage to make our choices, I have courage; I learned it from my father. I am finding my happiness in life, it sometimes is difficult to see, but I know that it is there. I believe in choosing happiness.