This I Believe

Luke - Yarmouth, ME, 04096
Entered on May 5, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“Remember, family and friends first”.

The day that changed my life forever was the day I realized what is truly most important to me, from that day I have grown to become a better person. I began to understand and believe to value family over everything, family comes first.

I was at my house with my mother and father; it was a hot and sunny afternoon. We were outside and I was once again in an unnecessary fight with dad. For some reason I was upset at him over a pair of sandals, he had used them earlier and I needed them. It was something about how he couldn’t remember where they were, I was frustrated, as was he, and I stormed off all because he couldn’t remember where he left my new sandals. Furious for no logical reason my mom came up and said she had to talk to me, something about dad. I remember it like it was yesterday; she sat me down and told me the reason why he had trouble remembering things lately. He had a brain tumor. The cancerous tumor was enlarging and putting stress on his brain which was causing his memory to fail. I broke down, I cried, I felt awful for what I had said and why I was ever mad. That day and that moment changed my life forever, and over the next few months it put in perspective what was really important to me, and what I truly valued. Family.

Family is the most important thing one can have and the relationship you build last forever. The moment I knew my father had cancer changed my life and my thoughts went everywhere. Of course I always have loved my family and loved my father more than anything, I always have tried to put them first. All of us five (my mother, father, and two older brothers) have been very close. But this made me realize how useless fighting with them is. The times where I make tiny lies, or blow them off to watch television at a friend’s house or start fights where when I know I’m in the wrong. I realized these are not the people I should be competitive with, fighting with, or ever lying to. I just wish it didn’t take my father getting a deadly illness to make me finally realize this.

Anyone can die, at any moment of any day, and losing the ones that are closest to you will affect you for the rest of your life. So put them first, put your family over everything, they are the ones who are really there for you, your parents are the ones that helped you grow up, are the ones that truly know you for who you are and love you more than anyone because of who you are. Your relationship with them is the most meaningful one you will ever have. My father getting cancer helped me become a better person and made me think of how much he meant to me, how much my family and friends mean to me. Living a life of regret because I didn’t show the people who I love the most, my family, how much they mean to me is the last thing I want to regret.

I regret ever getting in one fight with my dad, I regret being immature and trying to be better then my brothers. I regret saying some of things I have said to my friends and family and I choose not to regret anymore. Memories and moments are what are important, and I have so many with my family. Through the time my father was sick we become closer then ever before, as did my whole family or at least more than I realized. We all realized what we had with each other, and how amazing it was. It wasn’t about taking care of him because he needed it, it was because I care for him, and I love him, and want to be with him. You never know what could happen in a day, so don’t waste time and make sure your there for your family and loved ones. Make it not only a priority but something you want to do because if you don’t then you’ll spend the remainder of your life regretting the things you can’t take back.

Death can’t be reversed, you can’t take it back. Be thankful for the time you have but utilize that time, I believe that time is to short and often wasted. When I was younger I made time in my life for the things that I wanted to do, sports, partying, friends, being well liked, watching television, or just being lazy. I still value these things and I still think about them, but valuing my family and showing them how much they mean to me is something I enjoy. I try and shake off the little stupid fights, like losing a pair of sandals, or any simple mistake. Once I realized what I have with them it made me care so much more, knowing I could lose them at any moment. I made the best memories I could for the remainder of my father’s life, we were together all the time and I let him know how much I loved him. I help my mom whenever she needs it, I go out of my way to be there for her and do things with her. My brothers are my best friends and will be forever. This is all because all of us value family over everything and our relationship is now stronger then anyone else I know.

We might be lucky for the time we got with my father, the time we knew we were losing and made sure it was never lost. Some people die of sudden heart attacks, car accidents, and random things. They never get to say bye to the ones they love or say the things that they truly want them to hear and know. I got to say those things, there’s millions of more words I could have said but I consider my self lucky for the moments I got right up until I was holding his hand and he took his last breathe. The stupid sandal fight will haunt me forever; half the time we fought I can’t even remember what it was about. I put my family before everyone, I would drop everything in one moment and be there because not only would they want me to be, but I want to be. My father taught me how to value family, and in his last weeks he would always say “Remember, family and friends first”. This is what I believe.