Turning Points

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Learning the Hard Way Being a teenager sometimes you get so wrapped up in your own issues you don't stop and think about others around you. But teenage life can be very challenging. So much is changing and sometimes it happens so fast that you can't keep up with everything happening around you. Sometimes you just need to get away from all the life problems. But you can be sure that something will always happen that will snap you back into the hard reality that is called life.

One day you are just living your life as any normal teenager does, and the next you are in disbelief of the events that have transpired in such a short period of time, and so unexpectedly. I don't really remember the day well as I was in my own teenage world. My family wasn't getting along very well, that I knew, because of the Christmas stress building up and slowly exploding out of everyone.

Isn't the point of holidays to sit back and relax? Anyway, I do remember that it was snowing and snowing and it wouldn't stop. The white, soft snow was building up higher and higher. After hours of shoveling snow with my dad, we were all in a sour mood and pretty much wiped. We had to shovel our driveway plus my two elderly neighbor's driveways, making the event a very unpleasant one. After we shoveled, I'm not sure what happened. All I remember was going to bed exhausted and not all that thankful. I mean after all that snow being thankful for anything was definitely the last thing on my mind.

I'm usually a heavy sleeper so I was shocked when I woke up at 6a.m. Usually on school days my alarm has to go off about a dozen times before I get up. But my alarm didn't even go off. My mom was awake and so was my brother. It was still dark outside, and they were in the hall by my bedroom talking. I opened my door to see why they were both up. I looked into my parent's room where the bed hadn't been made and saw that no one was lying in it. I figured my dad went to work early, as he was accustomed to doing when he couldn't sleep.

I half sleepily asked what happened, when I was greeted by solemn faces. And that is when I found out what had happened. It was my dad. He was in the hospital. It was around 3:30 a.m. when he was feeling an uncomfortable pain in his chest. My mom insisted he go to the hospital. They left without even waking me to let me know what was happening. I guess it was that parental instinct to protect the children kicking in. My mother came back to the house after my dad was settled in, the doctor had taken a look at him, and he was asleep.

I was shocked, nothing ever happened like that before to my dad. He was the healthiest one in our family, and he had never had heart trouble before. So much went racing through my head. I was in shock. The only thing I could ask was if he was all right. I learned he was alive, which was really what I was asking, but didn't want to ask. I found myself relieved, and enraged with many emotions.

My brother drove me to school, and my mom went back to the hospital to be with my dad. All I could think about was my dad. I felt bad for him, and I wished I could see him. My dad came home that night, and he looked extremely tired. I gave him a big hug, and fought back my tears of relief, happiness, and sadness. My whole family that night became tight and left the past problems behind.

Suddenly none of my silly, almost petty problems mattered. I came to a realization that family is the most important thing in my life, and that taking them for granted should never be an option, and never would be again.