Happiness Rediscovered

Derek - El Cajon, California
Entered on May 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

It only takes one second, for life to be changed. Two years ago all it took for my life to be changed was a phone call. My brother had called me and told me that my Dad had a stroke. I didn’t know what to think or say, I was a 20 year old college student living a care free life. Before my Dad’s stroke I held material things high in importance in my life and had a life goal to become rich. My Dad ended up being hospitalized for a year with little improvement and passed away last December. My set of life beliefs and goals have been changed forever. Seeing my Dad in the hospital everyday for that year was devastating, but also taught me more about life and myself then I have ever known.

Over the course of the year my dad was in the hospital there were a lot of ups and downs. The down times, when he wasn’t doing well I could hardly take myself to see him. But the times when he was doing better brought more joy to me then I could ever imagine. I was also able to learn a lot in our last few conversations, most were short, but I was able to see how happy he was with his life, and family. My Dad was an immigrant from Iraq, moving to America when he was 28. While in America he owned a small market, and worked almost everyday. He was able to find happiness in his family and friends, and wanted nothing more than to live a simple life and take care of his family. I was able to see this in our last few conversations and it has changed my life.

I am now a full time student, and work almost everyday at my Dad’s store, but live everyday to be happy. I strive to, and believe that I can find happiness in my everyday activities by keeping a positive outlook and knowing how blessed I am. I have changed my life goal from wanting to be rich, to wanted to be happy. I know see that life isn’t about what happens to you but its how you react to what happiness that makes the difference.