Four years ago I was a senior. In high school. It’s hard to believe time could go by so fast as I now am approaching another graduation, a much scarier graduation. In the past four years I have learned a lot about myself, about society, about friends, and about the strength of a family. I have learned a great deal about money and how it sucks, about hard work, and how sometimes cereal is the best dinner. I have learned a thing or two about child development and broadcast journalism. I’ve learned how to make ends meet and that the beginning and end of month are the worst because every payment is due.
The second semester of my senior year I began a blog for my English literature class. I suppose it foreshadowed what would become of my writing as I enjoyed the posts every week and worked hard to perfect them. I was most proud of the first one I ever wrote, one I wrote exactly four years ago today! I would like to share it with you all as it still rings true. There are many things different today than four years ago. Looking back life seemed simpler only juggling school and tennis most of the time. However the story and feelings that I felt then remain real today and stronger now more than ever. Thanks for reading!
“On January 22, 2004, I lost a little piece of my innocence; my youth and carefree attitude would never again be the same as it had been before that fateful day. I lost my grandfather that day in only a matter of minutes. One second I had been ready with my piano book in hand to go to my lesson and the next I was listening on the phone as my father told me my grandfather had had a heart attack. From the moment I heard the idea that he could be dying it felt unreal, I felt I knew for sure nothing could ever happen. Minutes later my mom came rushing in the door, telling me that we had to go to the hospital. From there my world came crashing down as I witnessed my mom, my strong and fun mom, answer the phone and fall to her knees balling as she told my dad she was so sorry. My grandfather had died.
On January 22, 2010, the opposite happened. My cousin, Even Felipe Enriquez was born around 11:30 in the morning. Six years to the day after my first experience with death, happiness was all that came from a day that had brought so much pain and sorrow. I walked into the hospital to visit with family just as before but this time there was only joy in my heart. I was not numb and there was no puffiness around my eyes. I held my cousin in my arms and saw the goodness of life, the purity that it held, and its beautiful existence.
Looking back on the 22nd of January six years ago still makes me cry and as I write tears fall from my eyes, but instead of being numb I have a smile on my face. A new life was born on the very same day. A little boy that I will babysit, play with and who will make me laugh, that I will hold and celebrate with and watch grow into a man. Life begins and ends in a matter of seconds, gives you hope and sadness, but also brings you love and joy. God created mankind and gave else all life; He brought us companionship and gave us each other to laugh and cry together, to enjoy life with. I experienced the grief that life can bring, but also felt the overpowering fullness that comes as well, that gives you strength and hope and happiness.
I felt like the monster in Frankenstein on that Thursday in 2004. I felt pain and didn’t quite understand why things had to work out as they did. I was let down. But now today in 2010, I am able to feel something beautiful, as opposed to an end, a beginning has occurred. Unlike the monster I was given life through a greater being than a human, I was given life by God. The creature was created by Frankenstein, an imperfect human, and thus the creature could not overcome this. I think about the life I had the privilege of knowing and of the life I now have the privilege of getting to know. They were brought here by God and through this I can know their perfect and powerful creator.
I no longer feel the hurt I felt, but instead have cherished memories. I feel joy for having known my grandpa for 12 years and now little Evan has a lifetime to fill with memories that I will be able to be a part of. January 22 will forever hold a special place in my heart.”
I can’t help but think about my Aunt Cheryl after rereading this. My family and I felt an enormous amount of pain following the days and months after her death. Today it sometimes still feels fresh, I find myself crying in the car, thinking becomes too hard. And then I think about her son that she blessed us with. A little boy only a year younger than Evan. And all to brilliant to not make my heart happy. God gives us life to leave a legacy. This will never change.In loving memory of my Grandpa.
Auntie Cheryl and I during my senior year of high school. Happy 4th Birthday, sweet Evan. I love you! Jake, you will forever have my heart.