I remember vividly the night I learned my dad had died. I was home alone when the police came to my house. I was so scared and had no idea what was going on. When they finally informed us of what had happened I couldn’t breath at first. A feeling of unreal horror came crashing down on me like a thousand pound weight. Life as I knew it had ended. My perfect, happy, carefree life was gone forever, never to return.
Since that day I have changed in many ways. Some good some bad. I believe that nothing about life is fair. If this was the case my dad wouldn’t have passed away so young, leaving his children orphans and his wife a widow. Although weak, life will not wait for you to be ready to move on. It keeps going and you have to keep up or get run over by it. I’ve learned that life is tough and to survive you have to be stronger than what is thrown your way. Part of being strong, in my view, is knowing that it is okay to cry, love, and even lose. Happiness is not something that happens to you. It is something one has to create for oneself. Attitude is a huge determinate of how one takes hardships. Could I have closed off from the world, allowing only a portion of my hardened shell to be exposed? Could I have been embittered by my situation? Yes, but how is that a way to live. I realized that a smile goes much deeper then a mere facial expression. It shows what is deep in your heart.
Part of life is pain. From a bloodied knee to a broken-heart, all are necessary and will be encountered at one point in time or another. However terrible the thought of agony, it is closely related to ecstasy. Without one I cannot experience the other. If all my life would have been how it was previous to my father’s death, I would have never known how wonderful and full life could potentially be. I count it all joy even though it hurts. There are memories I will never forget and they are worth the pain it causes me upon remembrance. I believe that even fate itself can be altered by free will if it so desires. I cannot change what has happened or what is to come. All I know is that I am only able to control how I react to life’s menacing blows.
There are days when I feel infinitely blessed, ready to take on the world with one hand and give the peace sign with the other. Those are good days. Then there are days when I’m mad. Mad at what life has given me and done to me. Mad that I had to lose someone I loved so much. Mad that I never got to say good-bye. Missing someone is like having a huge hole in your soul. It never heals but only leaves an ugly scar that can be easily reopened with a memory. A smell, a touch, or a song can all trigger this bursting open of my wound. Never in life will I experience the stinging pain of the fresh cut. However, I will always have damage. Sometimes I cry because it just hurts. The mere fact that for the rest of my life I will never see my beloved, wise daddy again makes me wonder why it happened to me.
I believe that bad things happen to good people for no particular reason other than that is how reality works. The bad guy does not always lose leaving the hero victorious, able to live forever in prosperity. No, life is more corrupt and vile than that. No one gets what they deserve, including myself. No one can know the next step they are going to take in life and which path it will lead them on. All we can hope for is that those important to us know they are deeply loved and to never let a moment slip by unnoticed and unsavored. Life goes in the blink of an eye if we want it to or not.
There are, however, things in life which remain constant. Like when I stand beside the ocean, I feel free, sad, and blissful all in one suspended moment in time. In that second, I feel far away from how life is and realize what life is all about. Love. Love whoever loves you. The ocean is important to my family. That is one of the places I feel nearest to my dad because of his fondness for it. Fair or unfair, life is life. Bad things happen to good people, but don’t forget that good things happen to them too.