Live Like You Were Dying

Lauren - Missouri City, Texas
Entered on October 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

Live Like You Were Dying

“Mark was bigger than life and lived life to the fullest.” These words of the pastor echoed in my head over and over again. There I was in Sonora, Texas, amongst the three hundred loving friends and family members joined in remembrance of my Uncle Mark, who was diagnosed with cancer just a week before. The unexpected death of my uncle made me realize I should be living every day of my life as if it were my last.

My parents had sat me down after school to tell me my uncle Mark was diagnosed with lung cancer and his operation was scheduled for the next Thursday. Having lost both of my grandfather’s to the fatal disease, I knew the sickening effects of treatment and the grim odds it left its victims with. The only thing I was left to do was pray because his life was in the hands of the unwelcomed invader and God. Due to the unpredictable nature of the disease, on Wednesday my aunt called us with the heartbreaking news that my uncle had lost the battle to the illness.

At his funeral I sat next to my grandmother and held her hand as we cried together. I couldn’t even imagine the pain she was bearing as she watched her eldest son fall victim to the same disease that had taken her husband from her life. No pastor or priest can fully explain to me how something like this can come into the lives of innocent people, take everything they have and call it God’s plan.

Nevertheless, I believe God does have a purpose and a message in everything he does and I believe that message was represented in the way my uncle lived his life. My Uncle Mark was not fake; what you saw was what you got. Although, he could sometimes be boisterous and not so easy to get along with, you could always count on him in any dilemma. He was known everywhere and anywhere he went for his rowdy ways, and his memory will live on just the same. After his funeral I truly realized how I hope to be remembered just as my uncle will always be, someone who did it their way, didn’t sweat the small stuff and had their faults but was a genuine and greatly loved person.

I will never forget that day at my uncle’s gravesite; although it was a day of great grief, it changed the way I lived my life from that moment on. I try to be myself in everything I do and not worry about the little things in life because you never know when your last day will be. I want to be remembered not as perfect but as me because the mistakes I make are a part of who I am. I want to go to my grave with no regrets, knowing I lived my life to the fullest.