Answers We Need

Hope - Birmingham, Alabama
Entered on November 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death, family
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Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things we, as people, will ever experience. We must deal with grief so painful that we sometimes wish we were the one that died. However, I believe that people die for a reason. Of course, “their time is up”, but there are reasons that affect the people they leave behind as well.

We always here the quote “fate is a funny thing”, but in some cases this is just not true. The summer before my freshman year of high school I was handed my first taste of true fate. It was not a boy or a wish I had made that had come true. It was a different kind of fate dealing with tragedy. My uncle TJ had suffered a severe heart attack. He was an intense bicyclist and he was out practicing a route with a fellow rider. He began feeling back pain and next thing we knew he was dead. My funny uncle who was in the best physical shape of anyone I knew. One day he was here telling us all funny stories and doing hilarious impressions, and the next he was gone.

Now I am not saying that my uncle’s death was some morbid type of fate. I just know now, looking back on it, it happened for a reason. I believe there is more than one reason it happened. But I believe the most important reason I was faced with this was to learn to appreciate my family. My Uncle TJ was my father’s younger brother. They were only one year apart and just alike in every way. Not until a few years after his death was I able to see this perspective: What if it had been my dad? Uncle TJ has two boys that are now growing up without their dad. That could have been me. God could have just as easily taken my dad. My mom and dad are so important to me; I do not know what I would do without them. My mom is my best friend, and I am my dad’s “little girl”. So from losing one person that I loved, I learned to be thankful for everyday I had with others that I loved.

I believe this event happened to make me stronger. It helped me to see that bad things do happen. I had never experienced losing someone, and I was very weak. Before this, I had a sense of invulnerability- that nothing bad could happen to me or my family. However, this event showed me that I was wrong. It also showed me that I was strong enough to make it through a hard time. I think this was the event that put me on the road to “growing up”. I miss my Uncle TJ everyday but when I look at my dad I am more thankful than I ever was before.