I woke up one morning hearing my grandma (who lives a few houses away from us) shouting for my mom to help call the ambulance. Within minutes, an ambulance came and brought my uncle to the hospital. I was so shocked, I did not know what had happened! There we were, all preparing for his wedding that was going to happen next week, and then all of a sudden he was going to the hospital?
I knelt down and prayed. And right after I prayed, my mom called and told me, he’s gone. Everyone was shocked because no one even knew what happened. He was a cheerful and playful uncle everyone loved.
I doubted life after that.
Just a few years later, life poured everything on me. I was chosen to lead the biggest club in my school. I was then chosen as the school’s swimming team’s captain and we had to defend the champion title. At that time, I wished there were a few of me to attend to everything! I was interviewed, invited to events, asked to give talks, flew all around the country and so on.
Then, in the midst of everything, I broke down. I was so tired of everything I turned to my best friend, Ryan, and said, “I feel like quitting”. He said, “Only losers quit and I believe, we all believe, you are not one.”
With that, I continued on with all my activities. Ryan gave me a tremendous amount of support during that time.
One day, after a tiring trip to the beach, I came home and went to bed early. Upon waking up, I received a call that told me something that changed my life, “Ryan passed away…..... He drowned”.
I cannot describe how I felt at that very moment. Emotions filled me. Anger - towards Ryan for not keeping his promise, and towards God for taking everyone away. Guilt - because I never had the chance to tell Ryan and my uncle how much I appreciated them both and cherish them both. Sadness because all my supports are taken away!
I continued to wallow in my own self-pity and shut the door behind me. I told myself, “this reality is too real! I cannot take it.” I was living a life where I wanted every day to be the last.
Then Ryan’s mom called me to his house. She gave me Ryan’s artworks and some other notes and told me, “He is now in a better place.
I woke up. I totally woke up and I told myself, I had the privilege to know him. And to know my uncle. One showed me how to be happy with life and one gave me so much support just because he wanted me to succeed. They are gone but I will continue their legacy, all that they have taught me.
And I know that I have only this one chance to live life, to taste life. I am not going to waste this very chance. I am going to shape it, use it and make it the way I want it to be so that when I leave one day, I can leave behind an identity. An identity I want people to remember me as. We’ve got only one chance to live so live it the right way. Don’t waste it!