The Day My Life Changed

Meghan - Treasure Island, Florida
Entered on December 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • 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.

I believe in living each day as if it were my last with no regrets.

On February twenty-eighth, I was woken up by my panic stricken brother when I was informed something had gone seriously wrong after my dad’s minor umbilical hernia surgery. My brother told me that the Doctor called and told us we had to get to the hospital because my dad had stopped breathing. My mom, brother, and I rushed to the intensive care unit and the doctor told us they were trying to resuscitate him but didn’t know if my dad was going to make it.

I remember seeing my dad lying on the hospital bed hooked up to a ventilator. He looked so helpless. My dad has always been my hero and seeing him lying there and realizing I might lose him was the worst experience I have ever gone through. I held his hand as my mom opened his eyelids to see his eyes were non responsive and much dilated. After spending the entire day in the hospital room with my family, he ended up passing away that night due to cerebral edema resulting in kidney failure because of the negligence from the hospital staff.

The only thing I could think of that day was how I didn’t get to see him the night his surgery was over before he stopped breathing. He lost so much oxygen to the brain that his brain cells died. The only brain cells he had left by the time I saw him was his reaction cells. I felt so guilty I couldn’t be there to visit him during the visiting hours when he was still conscious. I had called my dad because I knew I wasn’t going to be there for visiting hours. I wanted to make sure he was alright and to let him know I was thinking about him. The last conversation I had with my dad I will never forget. He sounded normal on the phone. He asked me if I liked pecan pie. I replied that I never tried it before. He assured me I would like it because it was sweet like me. We said our “good night god bless I love you” and I told him I would see him tomorrow.

In life, the one thing that is certain is that we all must die. The only problem is none of us know exactly when or where or why we will die. The day I lost my dad my whole life changed. I cannot sleep well at night anymore, I find myself struggling to be happy, and there is not a moment of the day I do not think about my dad. We had to move out of our house because we could no longer afford it and my mom started drinking. The only regret in my life I have is not being there to see him after his surgery. I continue to move on and live because I know that is what my dad would want me to do. To me living my life to its full potential is the only way to live a fulfilled life. I don’t take life for granted because you never know when it will be over.