The Abruptness of Life

Connor - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

Halloween is infamous in my family. It represents the day at which a part of our family nearly died. At the time of Halloween 2002, I was nine years old and in the fourth grade, and my sister was beginning her freshman year in High School at the age of fourteen. That night I remember the phone ringing. My mom answered, listened, put the phone down, and merely said that my sister had fallen and was hurt. En route to the scene, I remember thinking that this whole ordeal wasn’t anything to get worried about. She only had the wind knocked out of her, I maintained. Once I arrived, the night was thoroughly black. Orange lamp light and sirens illuminated the cul-de-sac. The only part I saw of my sister was her shoe as she was placed in an ambulance. After seeing this, the severity of the matter still hadn’t dawned on me. I spent that night unalarmed and ignorant of my sister’s peril.

On November first, I didn’t go to school; I visited my comatose sister in the intensive care unit, where machines were keeping her alive. It was then that I realized how close to death that she came. The explanations and statistics would come later, but at the time we didn’t know if she would ever wake up, let alone function normally. The following Monday I went to school and told my teacher what had happened. She insisted that we make cards for my sister, and wanted to know how old my sister was. I fumbled for an answer. I couldn’t be sure. It was then that I realized how I hardly had known my sister, and she had very nearly lost her life. I didn’t even know her age exactly.

Remarkably today, my sister functions normally in everyday life, and is virtually identical to how she was before her accident. I realize now that I had always assumed my sister’s constancy, and had never really known her.

When my sister got out of the car before her accident, my mother said I love you; my sister didn’t replay and got out. That could have been the last time my mother had the chance to say anything to her, and my sister had ignored her. My sister’s near loss has made me believe that we should cherish who we love while we can, because they can be taken away so suddenly, and no one knows when, where, or how.