The Hope of a Child

When I was in 1st grade, I knew a boy named Andrew. He lived a few doors down from me and the neighborhood kids, including me, would all go over to his backyard on weekends and play together on his huge play-set. It became almost like a tradition; all of us would arrive at Andrew’s house at 1:00 on Saturday and play until our moms called us home to eat dinner.
Our play dates continued like this for about 2 years, until suddenly, one day, no one answered Andrew’s front door. At the time, none of us really thought about it; maybe Andrew’s family had just gone out shopping or something. However, this continued and no one answered the door the next week or the week after that. We started to notice that Andrew’s house was strangely quiet, and oftentimes empty. Without a word, we stopped going. I didn’t see Andrew for almost a year.

During the second semester of my 4th grade year, I finally saw Andrew at school again. He came in that day with no hair and a huge scar on the side of his head. When Andrew left the room, my teacher quietly told us that he had had brain cancer when he was young (before any of the neighborhood kids knew him) and it had come back. For the past year, he had undergone countless chemotherapy treatments and surgeries. Now, he was again cancer-free.
About a year later, he relapsed and quickly passed away. I was completely shocked. Just a month ago, I had seen him. Now, he was dead. The fact that an illness had taken his life so suddenly made me sad and confused. In a selfish way, I was also upset that we could no longer have our play dates anymore.
Not fully understanding why Andrew had died, I remember asking my mom “Why? Why? Why did he go away???” My mom told me that there is no cure for cancer, and nothing can stop it. I didn’t want to believe it. Doctors were supposed to be magical. How could they not be able to fix this? They must be really dumb then.
Over the years, my mind has occasionally gone back to that year. When I close my eyes, I can still hear Andrew’s laughter and see his smile. I can still envision his backyard and all of the neighborhood kids playing. The happiness, the joy, and the eventual sadness are all deeply embedded in my memory.
Ever since then, Andrew has been a constant influence in my life. Whenever I feel like my life is going completely wrong, I think back to Andrew and all of the other children out there who didn’t even have the opportunity to grow up. I think about how lucky I am just to have the chance to live. The way I see it, every single day is a gift and we all need to live our lives to the fullest. We cannot change our pasts, but we do have the ability to control our futures.





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library said...
May 21, 2012 at 4:34 am
thisessay is very touching and the moral of the story was excellent.Simple writing but fantastic feeling expressed by the author
 
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