The Day I Thought I'd Die

October 22, 2012
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It was a normal Saturday morning. Or so I thought. I sat on our couch in the small living room of our home. The sun streamed through the window behind me; the day, in all reality, was a perfect fall day. And then the phone rang.
I assumed it was probably my grandma so I let my mom answer it. She went into her bedroom to avoid the radio playing in the kitchen. Moments later she came out, crying. The look on her face was unfamiliar; it was a look of worry, pain, and sadness. Seeing my mom like that made my heart drop. Something had to be wrong. Suddenly that perfect day became far less than perfect.
“Mum, what’s wrong?” My voice was unintentionally quiet. I remember at first she continued to do the dishes she had been washing before the phone call. Her fingers fumbled with the glasses and silverware in the sink.
“That was the hospital.” She paused for a minute; I could tell she was trying hard to keep her tears back, to hide the worry and the pain. “They said that the bumps around your thyroid may be cancer and you need to get a biopsy to check”. New tears formed in her eyes and I felt a lump rising in my throat.
“W-what?” I asked, barely audible as I tried not to cry. I never cry. Whatever she said next, if she said anything, was a blur to me. I remember the thoughts running through my mind rapidly. I might have cancer. I might die.
My mom was standing next to me now and she hugged me tightly as I sat limply on the couch in her arms. I knew she was thinking the same thing I was thinking because she was crying. My mother always cries over movies and books or even songs sometimes, but very rarely does she ever cry over me. The fact that my aunt had leukemia as a kid didn’t help much , it only increased out thoughts that it was a genetic thing that had passed on to me. “I don’t want cancer, I don’t want to die” I said trying to dry my eyes before tears fell.
After that I went outside. I was slow, too numb to run. I didn’t want the rest of my family; my dad, two sisters, and my brother, to see me cry. The warm sun enveloped me as I walked through the yard. I began to think about my life; all the things I’d done, everything I wanted to do, and all the people I had met and grown close to.
I climbed up my tree: my safe place high above the house and away from the world. I took deep breaths not letting myself cry even though no one would see. Slowly I became calm. Maybe I didn’t have cancer. Maybe I wouldn’t die if I did. Maybe I was safe. Then, I realized that any day one phone call could come confirming that it was cancer. If that day ever came I didn’t want to look at my life and be unsatisfied.
If I were going to die I’d want to feel accomplished. If I was going to die I’d want to be me. I don’t want to be someone else or try to fit in. That day I realized how much more I was and could be. There is more to me and more to life than to waste it all trying to impress people with who I’m not. Maybe being me won’t get popularity but it’s better than being someone else.
Everyone gets a short amount of time. Every day is a chance to start over and try again. That day changed my life. I realized that you never know when you are going to die or if you’ll even wake up in the morning. A change of events, or in my case a phone call, can change the way you view your life. I’ve learned to treasure life while I have it because tomorrow won’t last forever and it may never even come.





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