This I Believe

June 1, 2011
“Don’t live life with regrets” was one of the many quotes my dad used to always say. At a young age I learned that every day that we live on this earth is a blessing, so cherish it. Growing up I empathized my father. I’m pretty sure every kid thought that when they were at my age because their dad is there to protect them, but my dad was my hero for a different reason. One thing I admired about him was his way of hiding his pain. He always used to say that with such wonderful kids he always had something to smile about. Never did I see him without a smile on his face, until I started to see he was getting extremely weak and he was becoming very skinny.

Every day after work my dad use to bring me a treat. I used to wait outside my house every afternoon. Just knowing that he always thought about making me happy brought a smile to my face. I used to always sit with him and eat my candy while he told me about his day. One day my dad came home with no treats; instead he gently took my hand and said, “Me and Mommy have something to tell you.” As a kid you always thought positive, so I was guessing I was going to get a new bike. They sat my brother, sister and I down and finally said, “Kids your dad is sick.” We all started to look at each other like: “Are they serious, so?” Then my mom finished and said, “It’s not a cold, it’s something called Leukemia. There is a chance that your father might not live.” That’s the day things started to change in our household and it was definitely not for the better.

After that day we spent as much time with each other that we possibly could. My dad’s symptoms were more visible due to the chemotherapy. He and my mom would constantly be at the hospital. If they weren’t at the hospital they would be at the hotel across the street because they didn’t want to jeopardize his health in his condition. I remember having a great time with my family in that hotel. What exactly is a great time? We all knew that my dad wouldn’t live long with this disease. I guess every second we spent with him was a great time.

Those great times soon came to an end. It was a bittersweet moment. As my dad was passing the last thing he said to me was: “Remember who you are and never let anyone tell you what you can’t do.” Even though I was just a little girl this moment is forever imprinted in my heart. I live by those words my father told me and still till this day apply them to my life. Alas I believe you should foster the moments you have with everyone because you never know when it will be over.

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