I believe in seizing the day

Megan - Wilmington, North Carolina
Entered on October 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Sometimes when I think about my grandmother, I still find it hard to believe that she is gone. I didn’t recognize it when I was younger, but she was the woman I envisioned myself becoming when I grew up, or at least the woman I wanted to be. I will never forget the day she died. She collapsed alone in her kitchen and wasn’t discovered until a friend found her. Upon hearing this I immediately felt nauseous; the last words I had spoken to my grandmother were not loving or in any way plausible. Instead, they were heated words over an argument disputing my recently divorced parents. I instinctively regretted what I hadn’t told her; regretted that I didn’t tell her that I loved her and was fortunate to have her as my grandmother. However, she died, without my goodbye and without knowing I was sorry. She lost her life to an aneurism. During her funeral, I made a life changing decision: I believe in seizing the day, because tomorrow is never guaranteed.

Sometimes I see something beautiful and wish she could see it with me. But her life was cut short, and she can never see who I have become. So I made a promise to myself and to her that I would never let a day go by that was taken for granted. Her death and my parent’s divorce changed me for the better and have molded me into the person I wanted to be. Years later, I am still recovering from her sudden death, but through it, she once again taught me something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. She showed me that life is short and a beautiful gift I should cherish. Because of her, I love without regret, laugh without worries, and live as if these are my last moments.

I recently had a moment that reminded me of her. A friend took me to a place I had never been, in which I was escorted to a hidden river through a trail of canopy trees. On the river, the view was breathtaking. Without word or reason, I smiled. This was beautiful. I thought of my grandmother. This is a moment she would want me to cherish. We came to an oak tree in the river. Its branches spread wide over the water, and resting on it was a platform. There were steps climbing up the tree and once at the top, a rope swing transported you from the safe platform to the cold river’s water. I am extremely afraid of heights but despite my fear, I began to climb the tree.

After building my confidence, I stood up. And then, because I believe in seizing the day, because I am never promised tomorrow, and because I wanted to know that my grandmother would be proud of me for not letting a day go unexplored and unfulfilled, I jumped.