Skkye - Durango, Colorado
Entered on November 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death


I believe you should appreciate what you have, because you never know when you will lose someone, or something.

I participate in 4-H and I’m really active in competitive sheep showing. I work year round preparing for one day of the year. Show day! This day is the only day that matters. It is the one day when all of your hard work pays off. All of the early morning feedings, the late night exercising, and the all day practicing. One day, one show, one chance, once… That’s all you’ve got is once. After that you can’t change anything, you can only practice and work for the next show. You can’t let the past get you down.

It was finally my chance. It was August 7, 2008 at the La Plata county Fair. I had a really good lamb named DIESEL, and he was there to compete. I worked three times as hard as ever before that summer, because I knew that if you really wanted something you had to work for it. I wanted to win that show more than anything. “It is finally here, finally my time to win,” I said as I woke up that morning. Mike and Sherridy were coming that day to help me prepare for the big day. They breed market sheep, and they are the breeders of Diesel, one of my market lambs. They worked with me all summer so everything would go perfectly. They said that on Thursday morning, (show day) they would call to see how everything was and make sure show time was the same.

At six o’ clock when the phone rang, I was just getting dressed to go to the fair grounds. I was very excited and pumped with energy. I answered the phone and was surprised to hear my friend Dustrie on the other end.

“Hey Skkye, watcha doin?”

“Oh nothing much, just getting ready to go to the fair,” I replied holding in all of my excitement.

Then so bluntly she randomly blurts out

“Oh well I’m already here with my steers and Diesel is dead.”

Just like that, plain and simple. In a matter of seconds I went from being overly excited to depressed. Tears started running down the side of my cheeck, my heart dropped to the pit of my stomach, and I could barely breathe. I suddenly became nauseous. I was speechless for a while, then I said, “What? Are you kidding? This can’t be happening”.

All she could say was, “I’m sorry if there is anything you need just let me know I know this must be awful.” Immediately after I got off the phone I ran into my mom’s room screaming,

“He’s dead! He’s dead!”

“Slow down, what happened?”

“Dustrie just called. Diesel is dead!”

I could see the tears start to pour down her face as well. We just stood there crying then she said, “Hurry, go get dressed, we need to go now.”

I got dressed and called Sherridy and Mike to tell them the news. They said that they’d come down as soon as possible, that they were devastated, and for now I just had to focus on my two other sheep. It wasn’t over yet. I still had to compete.

When we got there, Diesel was lying on his side, bloated and still. The thing was, I just wasn’t used to the expression on his face. He normally had a perky, happy face, but not now; it was gloomy like he was helpless, and terrified.

“What happened?” I asked

“I wish I knew,” my mom muttered.

At this point we were both filled with tears. She bent down and started to rub his stomach. There were a lot of acquaintances there with us giving us their condolences. She looked up at me and whispered, “I didn’t even get to say goodbye.”

I knew even though he was mine, even though I took care of him and worked with him, that she was just as devastated. Hearing this made me cry even harder, because I then, started realizing that there are those times in your life, where you don’t get to say goodbye. There are times you don’t get to have those last few minutes enjoying what you have and appreciating the simple things. Sometimes un expected things happen and we don’t know when, we will never know when. That’s why it’s important to appreciate what you have. Everyone was asking if I was okay and to tell them when I needed something. The truth was, what I needed they couldn’t give me. I wasn’t okay. I would never be okay. I needed Diesel back. I wanted answers. I wanted to know what happened, how it happened, and why it happened. Then I was wondering how this could happen to me after all that I had worked for, after everything. I was confused because I knew that good things were not just handed out; you had to work for them. I had worked and worked, and still nothing.

Here I was on the day of show, with no lamb. This is when I realized that no matter how much I analyzed the situation, no matter how much I thought about how it wasn’t fair, he wasn’t coming back; he was gone and that was that.

I learned one very, very important lesson that day. Now I believe that you should always appreciate the good simple things in life because you never know when you will no longer have them. I strongly believe in this and will never let it slip out of my heart, it is something that has helped to shape who I am today.