Fragile


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Noah is originally from Danbury, Connecticut, attending Brigham Young University. He loves dogs, cars, and especially dogs in cars  [+]

Image of Fall 2020
Image of Creative Nonfiction
Every now and then, my extended family goes up to our family cabin near Smith Morehouse Canyon. We have a quiet time there, taking in the scenery and spending some good family time together. It’s a fitting escape from the current craziness in the world. While relaxing, my grandmother received a call from the cabin’s cord phone. She talked a while on the phone, so I couldn’t help but wonder what was going on.
A good friend of hers had gotten killed in an ATV accident. The friend was a septuagenarian, and the primary caretaker of a husband who had been stricken with cancer for quite some time. One can only imagine how her husband must have felt then. We usually ride ATVs up by the cabin, but since Grandma couldn’t stand the sight of one now, we withheld in respect.
Grandma said that this had been an unusually high death rate for people that she knew. There had been a man in her church who had struggled with mental illness and alcoholism for years, and he took his life this past summer. Even worse, the man’s son committed suicide not long after for similar reasons. She visited three funerals this year, a tragically high amount for such a time frame.
Her dog too had perished just a month ago. Max the poodle was a cherished companion for fifteen years, a family member that will be sorely missed. As long as I can remember visiting Grandma’s house, I remember petting Max playing with him outside as a child. Even though he was dying very slowly of age, it was still a shock to everyone that he was finally gone. More importantly, he had been a loyal companion to my grandmother through all the rough times she’s been through. Just four years ago, my grandma, along with the rest of the family, witnessed how melanoma can take her healthy husband of 51 years away. And exactly six months after Grandpa’s death, she experienced a brutal car crash, of which she is lucky to even be alive and well, let alone find purpose as she so wonderfully does.
It blows my mind to know how easily the world can be turned upside down. After all, I could be hit by a bus and die today, or find that my apartment has been robbed. Our world is fragile, but it is up to us to stand tall amid encircling fiascos. I believe in life after death, but even so, it can be hard to endure one’s lack of earthly presence. We are all vulnerable to the whirlwind of sorrow and heartbreak whenever it blows its way into our lives, but one can move on despite such moments. And with every life lost, many others still stand to carry the memory of a person through generations. And that is a hard bond to break.
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