Open Eyes

Courtney - Andrews, Texas
Entered on July 12, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Open Eyes

Living every second of life to the fullest with compassion, honesty, thankfulness, and love is what I have grown to believe. Although life is short, it can end a lot sooner than expected. Day to day I take advantage of the one thing God can take away from me in the blink of an eye. Life. The meaning of living, breathing, and opening my eyes every morning changed for me two years ago. My long time friend, Jared, had been diving off of a boat when he hit his head on a rock in a lake. It took fifteen minutes for anyone to realize he had not come up for air and another thirty minutes for the ambulance to arrive and speed him off to the hospital. My first thought and question was why Jared?

After a day or two, his parents both realized he would not be able to live with the brain damage he suffered from. He was only breathing by a respirator, and there was no chance at all of him ever waking. Even though he moved to Ira, Texas with new goals and dreams, he had reached all of the goals we knew he had wanted. He loved Hamburger pizza, and Dr. Pepper was always his drink of choice. Jared was a strong leader in his youth group, bought an El Camino as his first car, had an amazing girlfriend, and was the happiest he had ever been.

Jared’s death made me realize that I need to reach and strive to be the best person I can be and fill every second of my life with fulfilling goals and being happy. I started attending church, loving God, being active in school, and enjoying life a lot more than I ever had. I never took the time to tell him how big of an influence he was, however Jared taught me a lot about life and my self. Being invincible, defying my parents, and doing everything against the rules were my goals in life. After his death I realized that living that way would not get me anywhere, and I realized that everything Jared was about was what I should strive for. I now know that Jared is in a good place, and that all the people at the funeral were there to help celebrate the happiness and accomplishments he had made throughout his life. He was my fifth grade sweetheart and my homecoming date. He was the best friend and the amazing Christian you always wanted to be.

Life is not long compared to the eternal life I hope for. However, I learned that life could be cut short a lot sooner than expected. Jared would have wanted to see all of his friends happy and spending every second in life accomplishing their goals. I am thankful for that. Not soon enough will I be able to join him in eternal happiness. Until then, I will be thankful every moment that I still have the ability to wake up in the morning, open my eyes, and start another day toward fulfilling my goals.