Choose Your Battles

Paige - Hilliard, Ohio
Entered on May 22, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Choose Your Battles

It was the summer after the 5th grade, only twelve years old, and my life changed forever. On June 16, 2003, my step-dad lost his battle to cancer. It was maybe my third week of summer break and I would have never guessed something this horrible would or could ever happen. I knew that my step-dad Donny was sick, but he was such a strong and smart person that I never really thought he would ever die from his sickness. Donny was such an amazing person and he taught me so much. Little did I know that something I ignored every time he said it would be something I think about everyday of my life presently.

When my mom first met Donny I really didn’t know what to think. My mom, my little brother, and I were going through a hard time. My parents had gotten a divorce and my dad moved to Las Vegas. Because he left, the three of us were forced to move from a house I loved into a small apartment. It was hard for the first year, but then it just became what I was used to. My mom and Donny dated for awhile and I really started to enjoy having him around. When he asked my mom to marry him, everything changed once again. Only this time it was for the better.

Donny let us move into his new house with him and to this day that’s where I live. In a way Donny was our guardian angel. He helped us out of our bad times and he made us a family again. Having Donny as a part of my family was the best thing ever, but whenever I would get mad about something, he would always tell me one thing. He would simply say, “Paige, choose your battles.” I hated when he said that and most of the time I’d ignore him. The funny thing is that when he was gone I wished more than anything he’d be there to tell me to choose my battles.

Now that I’m older, choosing my battles is something I think about everyday. Experiencing the death of someone so precious in my life made me realize that you never know what’s going to happen. I finally understand what he was trying to say to me every time he said it. He wasn’t trying to tell me to only fight about things that I’m right about, but to really take a good hard look at why I’m mad and think about if I really need to be mad at that person and if I really need to be wasting my time being in a bad mood. Even though I didn’t know what Donny was trying to say to me then, I realize it now and it’s something I’ll always remember. No one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow, so why waste the time we have being mad about things that won’t matter in the end.