This I Believe

Ryan - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on September 30, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death, family
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In 2003, my grandmother died of cancer at the age of 72. She was a great woman, and at first I did not understand why her life was taken. I later learned that there is a reason for everything.

Back when I was a little kid, I used to play with my grandma on the beach whenever we went to visit. We used to pick up the smoothest rocks and skip them into the water, watching as they bounced. She also taught me how to play Rummikub. My grandma would always move the pieces between her fingers throughout the game. Birthdays were a grand celebration to my grandparents, as well. They would take a plane to Chicago to celebrate their grandchildren’s’ birthdays. My grandma made me feel happy whenever I was with her. I always looked forward to seeing her.

As I became older, I noticed my grandma had less energy when I saw her. For instance, she wouldn’t play with me outside like she used to. We had always kicked the soccer ball through the grass when she came to visit. What was going on? I found out from my parents my grandma was sick with lung cancer. The doctors expected her to live for six months. Fully understanding the meaning of this was not possible for me when I was eight years old. It just sounded awful. I would not realize the significance of this incident until after her death, three years later.

Eventually, my grandmother, the same person I used to have fun with, could not stand or walk. I did not know what to think. I was scared for her.

Not too long after, she passed away. My mom explained to me that she was in a great deal of pain before she died, and death put her out of her misery. Being eleven years of age, I somewhat understood what my mother was saying. A justification for this event came to me a year later, on the anniversary of her passing.

I believe everything occurs for a reason. This is a belief that I support and live by after losing a loved one. It is the easiest way for me to explain it. When someone is in unbearable pain, they are relieved of their suffering.