Never taking a day for granted…

Rob - Beverly, Massachusetts
Entered on May 5, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem, death
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I believe in never taking a day for granted.

There are a lot of people who just go through their life, just carry on and don’t worry about what happens, just assuming that every thing’s going to be alright. Many people just assume that the rest of their lives will unfold and don’t really consider the possibility that every day may be your last.

When my freshman year started, so did high school football, and with that came kids who had never played football before coming out for the team. At first I didn’t like these kids, but I eventually became friends and teammates with most of them.

One of these boys was different from all the rest though. He was what some would call a ‘hick’, he wore cowboy boots to school and could always be heard singing some country song. His name was Warren Skinner and throughout middle school we had only been acquaintances, just friends of a friend. The only memorable moment to this point I had with him was when I kissed his girlfriend in 7th grade and he told me he was going to punch me in the face after school. I ran to my bus that day, and the whole thing kind of went away.

If you had asked me Freshman year if I would ever have a future friendship with Warren, my answer would have been no. But before I knew it, it was the beginning of our Junior year and Warren had become one of my best friends. We joked a lot about our incident in 7th grade, and we often reminisced on past games, and it seemed like we always had the same lunch. We weren’t really the ‘sleep-over’ type of best friends, but he was my boy and we had each others backs. One day after practice, Warren rushed me out of the locker room to show off his new subs that he had put in his truck. He blasted ‘Hick Town’ by Jason Aldean as he left the parking lot that day and it would be the last time I ever listened to the song, or ever even wanted to hear it again. Because the next morning, October 5th, 2005, on the way to school, Warren got into a car accident that took his life. He was only 17.

That day, two things happened in my life that haven’t happened since. The first being that I cried, and the second being that I ever took anything for granted again. Warren had his whole life ahead of him and it was cut short by a stupid accident. The kid never had a frown on his face and never let a day go wasted. That’s why I always feel bad when I sleep in, or just lay around being lazy because I feel like if Warren were still alive he’d being doing something productive. So everyday when I wake up I try to go out and do something new, to meet new people and achieve things I’ve never done. Instead of turning down foods that I won’t think I like or judging people by their cover, I try them just to find out. And because of that I truly believe that I’m living everyday to its fullest. I find myself using a phrase that Warren said to me once.

The first time I ever had whiskey, it was from his bottle and I was real against having any until he said to me, “Hey, you only live once.” I took a shot, and even though it was miserable, at least I tried it. But if trying new things means not liking them once in a while, then that’s fine. At least I know I’m living my life to the fullest.