This I Believe…

Carolyn - Lansing, North Carolina
Entered on November 13, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, setbacks
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I believe…

The day my brother died my heart stopped beating. The one man I knew I could always depend on was gone.

The day started out just like any other day. I was with mom and dad doing the weekly grocery shopping. Well, in the case of my twelve year old mind this simply meant one thing; I would get something if I behaved. On the way to town dad’s cell phone began to ring and it was Chance (My Brother), therefore dad allowed me to answer his phone.

Also, just like any other phone call where Chance promised to come see me later that day, it ended with, “Yea…Okay…I love you too!”Never at this time had I realized that I thought that he would always be just a phone call away, and ten minutes down the road. Being that I was always Chance’s little tag along, why would I think otherwise?

That same night came with two surprises; the thunder storm and Chance’s death. As always Chance’s friends were drunk and need a ride home. Half the night he was driving them around before they finally decided they would go home. Then, the sudden rain storm hit, it was quick and hard. Chance’s brakes gave out while he was driving at a “High rate of speed” (local police officer). He wrecked, severally injuring the two boys that were in the car, but not as near as bad as Chance. The last hear his cries and calls for Mom, Dad, Kevin (older brother), Kim (older sister), and myself.

That night I watched my brother take his final and last breath. Both scared and confused I didn’t understand how his breathing just stopped. I thought that it was just another cruel joke that he had taken too far. Enraged I began shaking him and yell,”Wake up! It’s really just not funny anymore!”

He never budged. It’s that moment my heart broke. I have two older brothers and an older sister. I wouldn’t let them or my parents out of my sight, to scared something bad would happen to them too. Now, not a day goes by I don’t call a sibling. Just like there is not a week that goes by that I don’t drive an hour to see my nephews, because I believe that family and friends should never be taken for granted and every precious moment should be cherished.