Gone in the Blink of an Eye

Taylor - Snhomish, Washington
Entered on February 17, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem
  • 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.

I believe that you should live life to the fullest. I have always been told to think of each day as your last but never really put that into perspective until March 28, 2008. On that night my whole life changed. I had my best friend pass away at 8 pm in a car crash on the way to my house. This event changed everything about me and made me into the person I am today.

My best friend is Randy Dean. He was 18 years old when he was taken out of my life and moved on to a better one. It was a cold snowy night and on the way to my house he was in a fatal accident that took his life. Randy was the sweetest and most kind hearted person I have ever met. He was never mean to anyone and always had a smile on his face. He had goals and dreams for his life and had no doubt in his mind that he wouldn’t reach these goals he had. Randy made me want to be a better person. He always brought a smile to my face and knew how to make anyone feel happy.

While sitting at home waiting for him to show up I watched as the time kept getting later and later. I became worried and scared not knowing if he was ok. I had the feeling that something had to be wrong. I got a text saying there has been a crash by my house and once I read those words my heart had stopped. The feeling in my stomach was like nothing I have ever felt before. I knew it had to be him. I drove to the site and asked the cops if it was in fact Randy in the accident. I explained exactly how he looked from the color of his bright blonde shaggy hair to the color of his car he just got days before. Once I was done explaining they told me that it was Randy in the car crash. Tears came pouring down my face and I went straight to the hospital. I waited hours and hours in the cold and lonely waiting room. Time dragged on and on. Pictures of him just kept flashing in my mind and I could only think or the worst.

The nurse came out and brought us to the church in the hospital. Once I walked into the room I knew the exact words she would say. I broke down before she could even begin to speak. Then she told us. She said his heart had been punctured by his rib from the force of the crash. She said it all happened so fast and he was gone before anyone had got there. Hearing what she was saying was unreal to me. I didn’t believe her. I couldn’t believe her. I could not grasp that he was really gone. All I wanted was to see Randy, to hug him and say it will all be alright. But that never happened. I sat there only thinking this was my entire fault and if it wasn’t for me he would be home right now safe and alive.

It took me months to finally stop blaming myself for what had happened. I accepted that God had wanted Randy to be with him in heaven. God wanted to have him as an angel and for Randy to be my angel and watch over me. From this experience I have become so much closer to the people I love. I cherish them and every moment we spend together. From this experience I realize that you can’t go through life just letting the days and nights pass by. You can’t worry about the small things that are unimportant. You must go and live out your dreams. If you want to explore the world then go out there and do it. Life is far too short to just sit at home and not live the wonderful life you were given, because one day it will all be taken away. Whether you are 18 or 81 life can be gone in the blink of an eye. That is why I believe you have to live life to the fullest and never look back and wish you didn’t do the things you always wanted to do. Go out and do them and cherish the people you love.