I believe everything happens for a reason. It either makes you a stronger, better person, or it just wasn’t meant to be at all. There is always going to be an action and reaction, although the consequences you may never know of consciously.
Up until four years, ago, every time I saw my great-grandpa Bill and his wife, Audrey, I braced myself to be pinched, prodded, and poked at unmercilessly. Also, I could expect to hear numerous tales about “the other Katie” who lived across the street form them. Honestly, my great-grandpa scared me a little, too. Whenever I saw him, he reminded me of the old man from Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart” with the piercing and unforgiving icy blue eyes.
However, after Audrey falling while taking out the laundry, one thing led to another and days short of his 84th birthday, my great-grandpa died. I no longer would hear tales of Vietnam, little Katie, or how wild my grandfather had been repeated over and over again.
I was a little young to actually know what exactly what was going on around me, yet even at that age my belief started to come into focus. Everything does happen for a reason. First Audrey, then great-grandpa Bill. The two things I knew for sure that came out of all of the black costumes and legal papers were that they did, and still do, love me and not to take people for granted. You never really know how much someone, or something, means to you. Since their deaths, I have felt extremely guilty, but learned to love and appreciate everyone around me more.
This life lesson couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Not only did the death of my great-grandma teach me appreciation, but that belief prepared me for the next disaster that would affect me in more profound ways just one year later.
My dad’s step dad has been legally blind and diagnosed with Alzheimer ever since I can remember. My grandma’s logic was, well, we have the money, we have the time, and it’s not going to be long before he needs to be in a more stable environment, so why not? My grandparents were hardly around, I saw them maybe, two, three times a year. Every time else I talked to them there were in Peru, or China, or Ireland. I loved them dearly, and still do, but it was just so different than my mom’s parents who went to every school event, dance performance, or just would stop by to say ‘hi’ randomly.
In November 2005, my grandma was diagnosed with colon cancer. The doctors only estimated about 6-9 months to live. I overheard my mom talking on the phone, that’s how I found out, but I didn’t have any reaction what-so-ever. It was an out of body experience for me, I felt no emotion until later that night when my dad set me down and told me. That was when I broke down.
I can’t even begin to describe how blessed and luck I am. I am overwhelmed by it all. I feel so fortunate to have my life touched by angels and my friends who are there for me every step of the way.
And I thank God everyday for my grandma being around for one more day, one more Christmas, one more event. Everything happens for a reason. Midst the pain, the tears, and the treatments, we have become so much closer. I still don’t view her necessarily as a maternal figure in my life, but we have learned so much from each other.
I believe everything happens for a reason. However oddly twisted the occurrence is, something deep can be pulled from it. I am a stronger person now because I have been able to accept the actions and hold onto the reactions. I learned that if I look at the ‘what’ and grow from there instead of the ‘why’ and being depressed about it, than it is so much easier to cope and go on the first steps to recovery. Everything happens for a reason.