i believe

Mariah - carbondale, Pennsylvania
Entered on August 27, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, gratitude
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I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe in hope. The hope that the outcome of any hardship in your life might, if you’re lucky, makes you a stronger person. I believe that it’s okay to wish, wish to better yourself, and strive to better yourself. I believe in fears, fears that everything won’t work out. I believe in family and friends, and because of them I believe in love.

Not long after September 11th attacks my dad worked at the trade center clean up, he accepted. My dad worked at the clean up for six months. When he returned home, he seemed distant. It didn’t seem like he was the same person that had left six months before. We didn’t know what was wrong so my dad went to specialists in New York City and New Jersey. Because of the things my dad was faced with at the clean-up, my dad was diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). He also found out that the reason why he had been so sick was from all of the chemicals in his blood, lungs and sinuses from being exposed to it at the trade center clean-up. He also found out that people had already died from this, still unknown disease. Every day I watch my dad struggle to get out of bed. I also watch my dad wake up and work harder than anyone I know. I wish that someday I will have a small portion of work ethic and hope my dad has. Despite his condition, he holds on to the hope that everything will turn out okay in the end. After my dad got sick I realized how important my family was to me. I believe that the love of family and friends can get you through anything. Although I looked up to my dad for his strength I couldn’t bare to watch. My family began to drift apart and try to pretend like it wasn’t happening. Our family remained distant until the early morning of august 15th, when my dad was awakened to the sound of our home burning down. Although the fire was burning for many hours, the structure of it was still standing. Even though the house was still standing the damage was too bad to continue living there. We had to get what we could out before tearing it down. I remember sitting on the floor in my room thinking it couldn’t be happening to me, it just happens on the ten o’clock news to people you don’t know, that is the reality of life you don’t know what you have until its gone. I walked through my house for the last time wishing that it had just burnt to the ground so I didn’t have to look at every room thinking of the memories I feared I would forget. The memories pour into my head almost as fast as the tears filled my eyes. Yes, my house burnt down, and yes it was heartbreaking, but my family was together again, and that was the most important thing to all of us. Knowing that we could never return “home” was unbearable, but I had my family and friends and that became all that mattered. A year later we moved into the house of our dreams, but it didn’t seem to matter anymore where we lived or how sick my dad was. We were together through it all and that’s all that matters.

After everything that happened in my life I have found that I’ve become a stronger person. I’ve learned to shower my family and friends that I love them more than anything and learned not to waste time fearing things that may or may not happen and spend more time living. I believe in having something to believe in, something to hope for, something to wish for and something to love.