A Student Writes:

I have learned a very important lesson this past year. In March of last year my father lost his leg in an accident at work. My family and I were devastated. My father loved his job, and was a very active man. He was not the type of person who could just sit inside and do nothing. As a result of my father’s disability, my family had to get used to living off a third (1/3) of the income we were used to. My mom couldn’t work because she had to constantly bring my father to doctors, hospitals, etc.

Then, my uncle, only 41 years old, suddenly died of a heart attack. Exactly a week later, my grandfather died just a few short months after being diagnosed with brain cancer. We realized that although we thought we had things so bad in March, things could have been a lot worse. Exactly six weeks before I was married, my dad fell and broke his hip. Due to complications with his leg, he was unable to be fitted for a prosthesis in time for my wedding. I was so upset, because here I was getting married, my parents didn’t have the income we were used to, my dad didn’t have a leg, and most importantly two very important people in my life were unable to be there — my uncle and my grandfather.

My family and I could not wait for 1998 to be over with and to start with a new year. Well, on December 24, 1998 (Christmas Eve), I wasn’t opening Christmas presents, because I was telling my 19-year-old sister goodbye for the last time. She was in a tragic car accident on December 23, and lived for exactly twelve hours before she left this world.

This made my family and I realize that no matter how much heartache you may have in your life, there is always something to be thankful for. Instead of being thankful that I had a sister, I was upset that I couldn’t spend Christmas with my uncle, my grandfather, and was upset that my dad was still having unexpected problems with his leg.

Now when I hear people complain because they have a hard day at work or school, or people who are depressed because they ended a relationship, or received a bad grade on a test, I try to make them realize, the little “small” things in life are not worth getting upset over. Be happy for the few things you do have. No matter how many troubles you may have, you always have SOMETHING to be thankful for.

Danielle drobertson@btr.warpone.net

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