Life comes at you fast

Laura - Napoleon, Ohio
Entered on February 16, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • 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.

Life is a precious thing. One moment you can be living life carefree and joyous, and the next, your life could be hanging from a thread. I have learned this even more recently with having my dad in the hospital. I believe that life is a gift and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

I haven’t always liked my dad all that much, but when I heard that he was in the hospital and might die, I almost lost it. It was hard to hear that I could be losing my dad. I had a dentist appointment the afternoon I found out about what happened to my dad. My sister met me at the dentist and told me what was going on. We went up to the hospital, met my mom and she filled us in a little more about what was happening. My mom told us that my dad had had a pretty massive stroke and his heart was having problems again. We were taken back to his room and there were a few nurses and doctors there. The doctors told us what they had found from examining my dad and they were seeing if he would respond to commands they gave him. There was one thing that the doctors asked him to do, but he kept doing something else until my mom got in his face and told him to do it. That’s the point when I lost it. I hate seeing my dad in the hospital and have a hard time being there.

My head was a whirlwind the next few days. With all the information that we were receiving from the doctors and nurses, it was hard for me to keep everything straight. I was having trouble focusing at school because I was worried about my dad. I kind of just went through the days following my dad’s stroke in a daze. The day after the stroke, my sister, my brother, and I all had to meet with the doctors and make a decision of what to do with my dad. He didn’t have any legal papers signed saying what he would like to have done, so us kids had to make the decision for him. It was hard to make the choice to put him into the comfort care ward at the hospital, but we all knew that he wouldn’t want to be miserable at a nursing home the rest of his life. He keeps making improvements beyond what the doctors expected, but only time will tell

It’s hard to tell what will happen with my dad at this point. With all this happening, I do regret, a little bit, the times when I wasn’t so nice to him. This tragedy has put things in to perspective for me. I realize that I could be losing my dad, and I wish I could have more time with him. This is why I believe life is a gift; you never know when it could be gone.