Letting Go

Jack - Comstock, New York
Entered on August 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
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Letting Go:

Everyday my brother and I end up fighting for one seemingly meaningless reason after another. Whether I say something to offend him, or refuse to do something that he could easily do himself, we end up wrestling with one another more times a week than I care to count. But what separates our little fights from other siblings is that there is no malice or anger involved. We fight because we can, and as quickly as it started it is soon forgotten. I do not harbor bad feelings toward him, because I believe in letting go of the past.

It seems to me that our world is full of disasters, tragedies, and unfortunate events: Families suffer losing loved ones for many different reasons, marriages breakdown and, like me, people have fights with people they care about. The problem is that we let these unfortunate occurrences affect our lives and our happiness. We let the past ruin our future instead of taking our mistakes and learning from them.

Although I am just 18, and my life really has yet to begin, my experiences have taught me that constantly reliving the past only hurts my self and others. I have experienced this first hand after my grandparents passed on. It seems they were the glue that kept my extended family together. The closeness of my family evaporated and what was once a very large and fun Christmas Eve among many relatives became a Christmas Eve of just 5 people this past year. You may expect that I miss the closeness we once shared but that just isn’t true. I let go of what we once had and instead put forth the effort to enjoy our new Christmas Eve. We went to a nice evening mass, and went back to my house for story sharing, Christmas music, and lots of laughter. ( some kind of transition to the dog part of the story would be helpful…)

I have to say that dogs are the best pets in the world and I know that many of you would agree with me. I have been lucky to own four wonderful dogs in my life so far. My first dog, Molly, was a black mix and I loved her very much. One thing common to all living beings is that sooner or later their time on this earth must come to an end. But, being so young, I had not really experienced any death, and at age 11 Molly succumbed to sickness and died. A few days later my mom brought up the possibility of another dog. I was completely against getting another dog and my dad agreed. I never wanted another dog again, to avoid the pain of loss, but the house seemed so empty without Molly that my parents got another dog. A chocolate lab named Snickers was a wonderful dog and I could not help loving her as much as I loved Molly. We got her a playmate to get rid of some of her extra energy. A black lab, terrier mix we named Sadie was the additional new dog and again I let down my barriers and showed her the same love. It is said that good things never last and in this case it was true. At age 3, less that a year ago, Snickers got tangled up on her run and was strangled to death. Again, I was ready to close myself down to getting close to another dog. But I realized that I still had Sadie and that death is a natural part of life. Since then, I have enjoyed the time I spend with both my dogs Sadie, and our new chocolate lab Riley.

So, do you see where I’m going with this? Life is way too short to not live it to the fullest. I mean, come on, I am just finishing high school and I see enough people bitter about the past and becoming miserable to last me a lifetime. I am definitely not saying that I have forgotten my family members, or my dogs, but I am saying that I plan on having great holidays, and having a lot more dogs throughout my life.