Jake - Mabelvale, Arkansas
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death, family, hope
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I believe that everyone has dimples. Literally – no, not everyone has dimples. Some may have one, some may have two, and some may have non. Figuratively – yes, I believe that everyone has the ability to show optimism and enthusiasm through the hard times of life.

I struggled with this same problem when my grandpa died. For about two months, he had been in and out of the hospital. Then, he was in the hospital for two weeks because of artery blockages in his heart. For those two weeks, we were at the hospital every day of the week. I felt so bad for him because he had been suffering for so long, and the doctor told us that he only had twenty-four hours to live. To our surprise, he lived another three days. The family joke was that he was going to outlive us all.

Finally, the news came. I was at my house and almost ready for school. Meanwhile, my dad was sitting anxiously in the dining room chair. Then, as I walked by, he uttered the words that put me in shock: Pee-paw died last night. Saying nothing, I kept walking – not wanting to make everyone more upset.

During the funeral, I had my epiphany: my grandpa was gone FOREVER. At the funeral, I was more gloomy and confused than ever. I hadn’t really thought about him being gone until then, and I wasn’t even thinking about the positive part of the situation. When I look back on this day, I see how negative and pessimistic I was. The best part of the whole scenario was that my grandpa was in heaven, and he was out of his pain and misery. Sadly, I was blind to that fact. I wish that I would have been more optimistic and enthusiastic.

Optimism is expecting the best. Optimism is confidence in the future. Optimism is having a positive attitude. Even in the valleys of life we can all be optimistic. Negative people are never fun to be around, and they can completely change the mood of a whole group. I don’t think death should be viewed as an ending, but as a new beginning.

Enthusiasm is passionate interest in or eagerness to do something. Even when tragedy strikes, we can look forward to the events that have already been planned. Just because something bad happens doesn’t mean our life has to end. I am still enthusiastic about the future.

Not only does bad emerge from death, but there is some good, too. For those two weeks in the hospital, all of my entire family was there. We had so much time to talk and socialize. Because of my grandpa’s death, we had the first annual Knight Family Reunion.

Even though, I was surrounded by all of the negative connotations of death, one smiling dimple, the spark of optimism and enthusiasm, can completely transform the situation.