By Anna Botsakou <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted April 2004
Summary: In this poignant vignette, a young woman examines a harsh life lesson and the pain — and gratitude — it inspired in both herself and her father.
This story is a general idea I had and decided to L&Cize. Comments and criticism of any kind are very welcome.
*Describe an event from your life that taught you an important moral lesson.
Your composition must be 300-350 words long.*
There are many events that have an impact on one's life, sometimes changing it completely. In my case, it is something I don't even quite remember, but, as I was obliged to live with its consequences, influenced my life more than anything else.
My mother died in a car accident when I was six years old. I vaguely remember her. I do remember, though, my father's pain, frustration and regret. His wife's death had torn his heart. He insistently blamed himself for her death. Everyone told him that it wasn't his fault that the truck driver had ignored the red light. Everyone reminded him that her death had been almost instantaneous, and there was no way he could have done anything to save her. But he did not believe it.
Finally, my grandmother managed to lead my father away from his guilt. She reminded him that, even if his other half was not there anymore, he still had three children to take care of and to live for. So he concentrated on my brothers and me. At first all he wanted was to keep himself busy. But soon he was again the strong man he had always been.
The wound in his heart healed but left a big scar. He never managed to completely move on, to get married again or at least, stop thinking about her. He did manage, though, to keep her alive through his memories of the times they had spent together. He learned not to have bitter feelings over her loss, nor did he become despondent and lock himself inside those memories, but rather used them as his source of strength whenever he felt disappointed or unhappy.
Growing up, I understood what helped him through that difficult time, and this was gratefulness. Gratitude for the beautiful moments they had spent together. So, I learned how to be grateful to life for everything I experience. For life is the best teacher, as far as you can turn your past to a lesson of life, your present to an opportunity, and your future to hope.
Christine L. Kent.