This I Believe

Teresa - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I have grown up in a society where the only way to succeed is to do well in school. On April 24, 2008, I received a call from my father telling me my uncle was in the hospital. My brothers and I had rushed to our family-owned business to get my mother, who became hysterical when she found out it was deathly serious. As a family we all went to the hospital not understanding what happened, and when we got there, I found out from my younger 11-year-old cousin, that there was internal bleeding inside of my uncle’s brain, and they had rushed him from his apartment in Great Bend, KS to the Wichita hospital that morning.

I am always in everybody’s business; I wanted to know what happened, so I asked my aunt-in-law. She told me that my uncle’s nurse assistant went to check up on him that morning since he was never late for work, and with the door locked, she asked the police to open the door, and they found my uncle lying on the floor, and brought him to the hospital. The hospital in Great Bend was not equipped to handle a situation like this, so they sent him by jet to Wichita. Nobody could find a reason why he had brain hemorrhage, he was healthy, and doing fine the night before since my youngest aunt had talked to him on the phone. He was the youngest in the family.

On April 30, the funeral was held, and I was to give a eulogy on my 33-year-old uncle I had not known very well. Everybody cried that day; I did too, but for a different reason. I cried because I realized that I no longer had the chance to spend time with my uncle, to find out what kind of person he was, and that he spent his whole life trying to become something, but in the end it didn’t even matter. He was valid Victorian, spent 10 years in college to become a podiatrist, spent a few years working at a hospital, and was planning to move to Wichita, where his family was, in 3 weeks to start up his own practice. Yes, a lot of hard work, but he was dedicated, and enjoyed what he did. After processing this experience, I realized death isn’t always justified or fair, because it is not right to blame my uncle since he didn’t prepare anybody for his death, since the cause of the incident is unknown there is no right to point fingers. This was the first death I ever experienced.

From this experience, I learned that it is better to not give a half-hearted job, but to be the most of who you can be, so it is possible to have an impact. I believe that it is necessary to be dedicated to education because it can lead you places, but don’t let it lead your life, because you need time to live and enjoy it.