I of all people know that it is easy to take things for granted. Before now, I had had it easy, almost too easy. My friends were always there for me, my family was functional and very supportive, and my very good grades were easy to come by. But in November of 2007, things changed when my best friend was driving too fast one Saturday night and went off the road full speed into a tree on her way home from a party. When I got the call, my world as I knew it shattered. She suffered from a lacerated liver, broken femur, and cracked base of the skull. The doctors said she was lucky to have survived at all; judging from the photos of the accident, I could not disagree. From the first moment I saw my best friend in a neck brace, hooked up to those complicated machines in the ICU with the blood on her arms where the shattered glass had cut her, my perspective and outlook changed completely. It hit me like a brick wall. What is really important? Are the parties, the games we play, and the petty drama going to matter after we are done? Does it matter where you buy your clothes and who you sit with at lunch? Will those things make an impact? I spent every day after school at that hospital and anxiously awaited her recovery. Being there for her became the single most important thing I could do and the only thing I had to offer her. I could not avoid thinking about what would have happened if she had died that night, which brought me to the realization that no matter who you are, how much you think you know, which religion you follow or what you believe, there is no way to determine how long you have to live, and the only say you have in it is how you live your life and who you spend it with. Choose wisely.
January 14, 2008