This I Believe

Sara - Cypress, California
Entered on March 15, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death, family
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This I believe

I’d say, “Hello, Nannu,” give him a quick hug and kiss, and walk away. There are lives surrounding us every day. Some we respect and others we despise. But, as we proceed throughout our days, we don’t seem to be grateful about the lives that we spend time with. I believe that instead of just accepting presence of others, you should embrace it. It’s ironic that a person is loved and wanted more after they are deceased than when they are alive. But, why does human kind act in this manner only to regret it in the end?

My great-grandfather, Nannu, was the most positive and carefree relative in my family. He had just turned ninety, and was blessed with a great-great-grandson. Everyone in our family, including him, knew that his life was coming to an end. Although it was woeful to think about the loss soon to come, it wasn’t devastating, it was expected: he was very old. I had not dreaded for that day to come, until one phone call announced the fate of Nannu, I felt a gasping blow to my chest.

The phone call revealed that Nannu had slipped into a coma. When I heard the news, I could not speak; my mind furiously flashed back to memories of him. I tried to keep my composure, but when I looked over at my sister and saw her tear-stricken eyes; wet as a healthy dog’s nose, I couldn’t help, but to collapse into sobs.

Each night before I shut my eyes, I would pray for a miracle. I prayed that Nannu would awaken, strong as an ant, so I could cease to worry about him dying. But, even though I prayed relentlessly, my family received another phone call, telling us that Nannu had passed away. My eyes widened with disbelief. All the praying I had done and he didn’t survive? At that moment, in his death he had become a more important part of my life, than when he was alive. I had not appreciated his presence when he was alive. I stumbled to my room, irritated with myself for not being grateful when I had the opportunity to see him.

This event taught me to cherish the lives that surround me every day. We should value people while they are alive, not when they are gone. By doing this, people that you love will feel better about themselves and it will make you a fulfilled and non-regretted person. I had not ever talked to my Nannu much; just saying a polite “hello” and leaving him at the table with the adults. As I look back at those times, I wish I could have showed him how much I loved him and would have made the times with him more of a memory instead of a nightmare. Nobody is a flawless being, but one can still strive to raise the bar. People’s lives are too short to not be embraced, so everyone should treasure each other’s presence.