By Clinton Dick
Staff reporter

It was a wakeup call. A few weeks ago I got an e-mail in the middle of the day from one of my friends saying that his mother was in critical condition in the hospital. She had trouble with medical issues before, but never to this extent and you could tell by the way the e-mail was written that things did not look good.

That night, a group of friends and I drove about an hour to the hospital where my friend and his family had been all day. It was late, but we wanted to be there. Our friend was happy to see us and despite his suffering, laughed and enjoyed our company.

The entire time I was in the hospital I couldn’t help but think about what I would be like if I was in the same position as my friend. What would I say or how would I act? What would it feel like to have someone or something so close taken away from me?

Throughout our lifetime, we gain a great variety of things that, in one way or another, we attach ourselves too. A family, a home, money, friends, pets and so on all fall into the category of objects we hold close to us.

Imagine what your life would be like without one of those things. Now imagine if two were taken away forever. Finally, think of how you would feel if everything you cherish no longer existed and was nothing more than memories. It is a lonely world, isn’t it?

Though it isn’t uncommon to lose a loved one, watching my friend speak to his mother as if it were the last time that he would see her was something that made me realize how much I take for granted in my life. I have so much to be thankful for and feel truly blessed for everything granted to me, but I don’t act like it.

I have a family that I love dearly, despite the fact that they get on my nerves from time to time. I have a home where I have lived my entire life. I have friends who I wouldn’t trade anything in the universe for. I have my country, which has given me so many opportunities and I also have my life, which I realize now is a very fragile thing.

An instant is all it takes to change my life forever and until something like that happens, I hope to make every minute one to savor. I hope people realize how much they truly have, instead of complaining about what they don’t have. Not to say that I don’t get frustrated on occasion. Focusing on what you want more than what you already have will make you wish you had paid more attention.

Not everything lasts in life. Take a good look around the next time you are with your family or your friends or the next time you return back to your home. Make sure to notice the small things. Enjoy the moments you have together and laugh a little bit. Those experiences will be worthwhile in the future.

Clinton Dick is a sophomore majoring in convergent journalism.  You may e-mail him at

Edited by Lea Shores.