Live Each Day

Mei Lin - Fort Bragg, California
Entered on March 29, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem, death
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Live Each Day

This year death became real to me. My friend Logan died tragically and unexpectedly from a sudden infection. It was and still is very hard to move on without him. I can’t see his brilliant smile and his bright blue eyes. I can’t hear his stupid jokes and his constant interruptions.

My grandma also left us this year. We had been expecting it for a few months, but it was still a shock. When I walk in her house now, she’s not there with her big smile and open arms. I can’t tell her about my latest report card or a recent soccer game. And she can’t share with me how the last Giants game ended.

. These encounters have taught me that you can’t count on the future, because anything could happen between now and then. In one second, your life could change. Now, I believe in living every day as fully as possible

I have started looking at my family in a different way. When I say “good morning” and hug my mom or dad, I make it count. If I’m in a fight with someone I love and I have to leave, I try to stop and apologize or tell them, “I love you.”

My friends have also changed in my eyes. We always leave hugging each other and I listen to them more carefully. My friends are as meaningful to me as breathing is to life.

I’ve also learned that grief feels very different depending on who dies and the circumstances of their death. For me, Logan’s death was completely unexpected that he was going to leave us. His life was just starting He was only thirteen years old. My grandma’s death was sad- but she lived a wonderful and very long life. When I first heard that Logan died, I felt shock and anger. I was in denial for a few days. When my grandma passed, I was sad, but it was a relief to know that she wasn’t in pain any longer. I loved her and miss her, but I didn’t cry because I knew she lived a full, joyous life.

These days when opportunities come up for me, I’m not so quick to say, “Well maybe next time.” I’m aware that maybe their won’t be another time.

Before my grandma died, I was thinking about going to summer camp. But I was leaning against it because I was going to be with hundreds of strangers living in a place that I had never been.. I wasn’t sure if I wanted go through all that change at once. Growing up the oldest kid in the family, I was afraid to be one of the youngest at camp. My grandmother always said to me, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” After she died, I decided to be brave, and head off to summer camp for the first time.

These days, I take more chances and reach out for more new experiences. I’m not afraid of what will happen, because I believe in living each day to the furthest extent.