Jillian - Rockford, Michigan
Entered on January 13, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, setbacks

When something bad happens the first thing most people do is panic. Tragedies in life happen everyday. There are some that affect us more than others. Even though hardships are not easy to deal with, I believe in the long run they make us better people. If nothing in life went wrong, we would have nothing to work for and not many inspirational stories. Disasters are what make us stronger, allow for hope, and give us a chance to believe in miracles. Without suffering we cannot truly grasp the richness of what life has to offer. I believe in disaster.

In the movie a Walk To Remember the main character, Jamie, has cancer but chooses not to tell anyone and lives a “normal” life. She was surrounded by loved ones and did the things she always wanted to do before she died. While things around her seemed to get better, her cancer got worse. Before her death she said, “Without suffering there would be no compassion.” Jamie’s passing away was hard to deal with at first, but overall the life that she lived touched the people around her and inspired them to live great lives full of selflessness and wonder. They were lucky to be healthy and began to appreciate life as much as Jamie did.

My life has a similar storyline to A Walk To Remember. When I was in 5th grade my dad was diagnosed with cancer. It was a difficult time for my family, but it is something I look back on now and know that it has made me a stronger person today. My dad was lucky enough to survive; some would even call it a miracle. I believe everything happens for a reason, even tragedies. When I hug my dad I think of his battle with cancer and have a renewed appreciation for life.

Recently my Aunt and Uncle got a divorce. For many families nowadays this is a common disaster. My cousins were sad and confused and right in the mix of it all. They remember how it felt to see their parents fight and how trying the divorce was on the whole family. While grief had its hollowness here, it also had opportunity. One of my cousins decided she was going to try harder when she gets married to make it work. She doesn’t want her kids to have to deal with the pain she went though. She has learned to live with having two different houses, two Christmas’, and the possibility of new stepfamilies, but has also learned from her parents mistakes and will make it a priority in her own marriage.

I believe in the awful, core-shaking, spiriting breaking things this world can do to people. I also believe in hope, miracles, inspiration, rewards and life opportunities that come from horrific situations. Sometimes it takes a catastrophe for great things to surface and when they do its often beautiful.