Living 17 years on this earth is a blessing. 7 times I was so close to having my life snatched away from me because of the unpredictable daily events that can in a blink of an eye steal a life. Just in this past week leading up to my birthday, a lot has happened. A student of my fathers unexpectedly passed away after swimming at UBC. Sudden deaths are tragic and it’s very hard for us to be caught up in every death that occurs at every moment of the day, but when an individual leaves, the world has lost a beautiful fragment of the bigger puzzle.

Just like many this girl who passed away will be thought of just another number or a face blended in the countless deaths that occur with each passing day, but for me she is someone. A someone who I came to know and respect. I want to take the time to say that all deaths are tragic and I offer my condolences to all those suffering from the lost of a loved one. I cannot emphasize enough how I cannot comprehend the circumstances that have led me to live healthily as a 17 year old because of some of the experiences I have had, 17 years might be a short period of time but to me it’s a lot of time. A lot of time for me to fully understand the risks but for me to also make every single moment worth living for. To make each day that I can breathe and function, to do all that I can to make an impact. I don’t have a lot of time because I never know when my day will come. It’s tiring to live sometimes like there is a clock ticking, but I find that it’s better to be reminded constantly of how while I live, there are many who have not gotten to past their legacy on and it is up to me to do so.

If you’re reading this now, please release yourself from any grudges you may have and let go. Forgive the person and move on. You cannot let anger or any passionate emotions wring you any longer. Live and do the things you love so that you can fulfill dreams for those who cannot do so. Most importantly do them for yourself. Do it for the wonderful human being you are, because all our lives matter, and it’s up to us to do something about it.

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