This I Believe "Her Name is Natalie"

September 29, 2010
I believe to succeed is to cry and laugh, love and learn, but to do it giving it all you have. Being at a new school at such a young age is overwhelming. The new house, the different classrooms and teachers, and the awkward abandonment in the cafeteria makes almost anyone crave for a sense of belonging. Moving never really was my thing because I would have to change friends and move towns. It didn’t take too long though, because after the second day of school, this skinny little girl from my class grabbed my lunch tray and headed for the nearest table. It was probably one of the most crowded tables but she saved me a seat right in the middle of it, pointed at my seat, and smiled. She looked at me and said her name was Natalie.

Gossip about the newest Disney Barbies and the late nights over at her house playing on the Sega were occupying my time with her. In less than a month, we were best friends. Over the year, birthday parties, swimming pools, and homes were occupied with laughter and moments that could never be replaced. I think back to it now, I can not really recall how it all happened, but I moved away at the end of third grade and we stayed in contact. She was still my best friend, but she started to not call me back, and I got really worried. My mom tried to tell me why but I still didn’t understand what was going on with Natalie. It’s been six years, and I still don’t want to remember that day.

When Natalie was diagnosed with Lieukemia, she went from this little ray of sunshine to the dark, dim girl sitting in the hospital bed. My best friend was dying. The doctors told her to smile and live the life she had with her friends and family. We spent our entire time together inside and outside the hospital. She still sucked on those really immense lollipops, and she still raised her voice to the crude girl in our class. I didn’t exactly understand why this whole death thing was an issue. In 2004 she had passed away, leaving me wounded and truly alone. Losing someone is probably the hardest thing any one can endure. It’s like losing faith in humanity and in your very own well being. Feeling like anyone can disappear any minute haunts you forever.

I still live today like she did, by showing my spunk; standing up for my opinions and desires, exceeding in almost everything, smiling at least once on a daily basis, and just not taking for granted what is right in front of you. She showed me that even being on her death bed couldn’t have kept her from being this amazing little person that loved playing video games and being with people that really mattered to her without feeling lonely. She gave it all she had and she did not show once that she was afraid of dying. I honestly think she already knew what life was all about. I believe to succeed is to cry and laugh, love and learn, but do it giving it all you have, like Natalie did.

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