This I Believe: Memory in the Past

Haley - Black Hawk, South Dakota
Entered on May 3, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death
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Many people have different opinions on what to live by. I believe that you should live your life to the fullest and regret nothing. People say you made a mistake; but it’s only a mistake if you didn’t learn from it. I live by this because; you could lose the most important thing to you in a blink of an eye.

A perfect example is when my great grand pa passed away when I was in first grade, I was at his house when he had the first heart attack. I was as scared as a puppy in a thunder storm, because I thought I was going to lose him that night. One of the best memories I have of him is when we were at the lake and I was tubing behind the boat and he decided to be a daredevil and get the other tube and go double. When we were done he said, “Oh my back, it hurts!” I just laughed because; right before he came in I told him you’re going to end up hurting yourself. He just laughed and said, “Well at least I was having fun when I do it.” When I came in I saw him lying on the bed in the camper, still in his swimming trunks, and I thought he looked like a wet raisin, with a green ball cap on, moaning in pain.

Later on that year I was back visiting at his house, we were on the front porch, and he handed me a apple then looked me straight in the eyes with a serious face, as if he was the president about to tell the America, the world was ending. He opened his mouth looked down at the ground and back at me, and then said, “Haley, I don’t think you really know how much I truly love you. You are the apple of my eye and one of the biggest joys in my life. No matter what you do, I’ll always love you. Just because you make a mistake doesn’t mean you actually made one, you only made one if you don’t learn from it.” I didn’t really understand what he was trying to say, but I would find out.

About a month later I was in school and was called to the office, I was told the most devastating thing. When the words came out of my mom’s mouth I just started bawling my eyes out. I thought I would create a new lake for people to go boating in. He had been in the hospital for a while now, and they said he just couldn’t fight any longer. A few days later my grandpa asked me if I would be alright with having my great grandpa buried on my birthday. I hated the thought of it, but I agreed.

Although my great grandpa has been dead for eight years now, there isn’t a day I don’t think about his smiling and loving face. He always told me, “I could do and be anything if I set my mind to it, live my life to the fullest and regret nothing that once made me smile.” When things seem horrible I seem to hear those words ringing inside my head.

Cherish being young and being with the people you love, because you never know when you might lose them. Always tell them you love them because that could be the very last time you ever see them again.