Live Your Life to the Fullest

Delanie - Kirkland, Washington
Entered on January 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

Live Your Life to the Fullest

I believe in the saying, “Live your life to the fullest”. I heard my mom and dad say it occasionally, but it never really seemed important to me. In the summer when I was 11, my perspective drastically changed.

My Uncle Dave had always been really loud, bubbly, and a happy person. He had a Santa Clause belly, and a happy laugh to match. To me, Uncle Dave always looked really healthy.

In May of 2007, Uncle Dave went into the doctor because he had a cough that hadn’t gone away for several months. We soon found out that Uncle Dave had Lung Cancer.

As Uncle Dave’s treatment continued, the doctors noticed that chemo was not working. The doctors decided that there was nothing they could do to save him. Dad told us that Uncle Dave had maybe a month or two to live, and that was all.

When I saw him next, I thought that Uncle Dave looked fine. He didn’t look like he was dying to me. All the grown-ups in my family were trying to cover their sadness from us. I felt out of the loop, like I was missing something. Part of me felt guilty because I had not cried yet.

Then, one day, my mom had to go over to my Aunt’s house. I decided to with her. When I walked into their family room, there was a giant hospital bed in the middle of the room, with large machines everywhere. I walked to the side of the bed and saw that Uncle Dave was there. I was shocked at his appearance. In only one week, he now looked so skinny and sick looking. All of his hair had turned gray and was falling out, and his face looked so thin that I could see the bones along his cheeks. I leaned down, and told my Uncle Dave good-bye, and that I loved him. And that was the last time I got to see my Uncle.

In the car ride home, I fought back my tears, but they eventually started leaking through. All of the tears that hadn’t come in the past month suddenly caught up to me, and so did the sadness.

On June 26th, my dad told me that Uncle Dave had died that day. I learned that Uncle Dave’s cancer had spread from his lungs to his hips, and then finally to his brain.

I felt extremely sad when I learned that Uncle Dave had died, but my dad reassured me that he was no longer in pain. While I went through all of this, the saying “Live your life to the fullest” definitely seemed more true then ever before. When ever I have a bad day it helps me to think of that saying, so that I don’t waste any time with the people I love. Everyone should live their life like it is their last day, because you never when the unexpected could happen.