Julie - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in the unbelievable. I believe in God, in Superman, in Santa Claus, or at least in the concepts anyway. I believe anything can be achieved with enough faith, hope, and perseverance. I believe in the most unlikely of possibilities. I believe matters of the heart can triumph over laws of nature. Most of all, I believe that even in the gravest of circumstances, miracles do happen.

My remarkable grandfather braved through a bloody revolution, survived the planning of an ambush, escaped slaughter in the Bay of Pigs, and raised his family with nothing but a dream in his thoughts and a prayer in his heart. To me, Papi was a legend. He was the man that could balance books and a water glass on his head, the champion that could dominate anybody at chess or dominoes, and the comedian that could make any situation a little lighter. He was the jolly character underneath that red suit at Christmastime, he was the superhero with a removable jaw, and he was a perfect model of selflessness to all of his grandchildren. It was in 2006 that cancer stole from me the strongest man I had ever known. While it would make sense to suggest that death steals innocence, in my case, it was death that restored it.

At fourteen, I spent a month in Florida as a caregiver, constantly at the side of our childhood Santa Claus. As terrible as the events following it were, July 2006 was the best month of my life. During this month, I witnessed the works of a 50-year marriage in action, I remembered the power of prayer, and I experienced the miracle of family. During this month, a lesson became engraved in my heart forever; just because society deems something unbelievable, does not mean you should not believe.