Receiving the horrible news was more painful than walking on a thousand nails. The many times I told myself that it was all just a dream, the more I began to believe myself. All until the horrible realization that it was happening and that it was too good to be true. Realizing that every morning I woke up to go check his room he wouldn’t be there was one of the many realizations I had to experience. But there was one positive outcome of the death of my brother. It taught me that you can never take the time you spend with your loved ones for granted even if you only see or converse with them for five minutes, never take it for granted.
I remember this tragic event like it was yesterday. My brother and I were 8 years apart. So we were very close. He left off going to Pennsylvania to go to Penn State College. We talked and texted at least 3 times a day if not more. Our conversations were very meaningful and I will always cherish the ones that we had. During Christmas of ’09 he came down for the home going of my aunt. Just being able to see him was enough for me. While talking to him my mother and I noticed that he had a lump on the left side of his neck and my mother advised him to get it checked out. So, he went to the doctor and they ran tests and found out that it was a cancerous tumor and that they would need to start treatment right away. Finding this out, my brother then moved back to Florida to start his treatments at ORMC (Orlando Regional Medical Center).
After about 3 months of treatment, the doctor said that the cancer was more aggressive than they thought it could develop so they said there was nothing else that they could do. The medical staff proceeded to send Earl to hospice where he would no longer be taking chemotherapy but just medicine to relieve him of the pain. We all knew he wouldn’t be with us that much longer, but the persistence and determination in me believed that he would live to see me reach high school, get my license, and go to prom. Over time he stopped eating and had to be fed by tube. When he stopped eating, I realized that sooner or later my dreams of him seeing my accomplishments the things older siblings see their younger siblings do were over. He began to get weaker and weaker and he stopped talking to anyone. I remember the last time I saw him.
We were lying down in his bed together and we were singing his favorite song. As it was time for me to go he said “I love you Boo” and those were the last words I ever got to hear him say to me. The next night, we all got that dreading phone call that he had left us here on earth to be with the heavenly father. The news was just heartbreaking and I couldn’t bear to hear it.
This experience was very painful but it also allowed for me to gain some positivness in my thinking. Many teenagers today live life being ungrateful and snobby. Walking around thinking like that isn’t always the best because as the quote says you never realize what you had until it’s gone. Nowadays it takes a tragedy for modern day teenagers to learn and show gratitude towards parents and family members. The death of my brother awakened me to live life to the fullest and don’t go a day not doing anything because you never know when your time may be.
It also taught me to never go a day without telling my other siblings and my parents I love you. Just saying those simple three words could mean a lot to anyone. Another thing it taught me was to always be happy and greet others with a smile and hug(depending on how well you know the person), even some strangers are welcome to hug if they are having a bad day. Just doing the simplest things could impact someone else’s life and you would never know. So if there is anything I could leave you with, never take life for granted, live life to its fullest and enjoy yourself. Make your life worthwhile and enjoy it.
Courtney from Study Moose
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