The fact that it was the funeral of someone very dear to me made my first attendance extremely difficult. The black dresses and solemn looks mirrored the emotions I felt inside. The beautiful remarks about my grandmother did little to comfort me or provide supplement for the inner loss I felt. Moreover, knowing I had to let go continuously battled the potent feeling of not wanting to let go. While old enough to realize that death is a natural end to life that must come at some point, I was also cognizant of the fact that death had marked an end to a very valuable friendship.
My grandmother was the epitome of wisdom. Though her words of wisdom will forever resonate in my mind, I will deeply continue to miss her reassuring voice and still harbor a bit of resentment towards death for permanently depriving me of time in the future that I could have spent listening and learning from more of her valuable advice. One lesson learned from my grandmothers death is to seize and savor each present moment. A newspaper article said that the present is so appropriately named because it is a gift. Gifts are meant to provide pleasure on more than one occasion.
Thus, I have learned to assume and appreciate the times with my grandmother as invaluable and lasting sentiments. Approximately one year after my grandmothers death, my idol and role model announced that life was too hard for him to continue. Working full time and attending medical school proved to be too challenging for my brother. He would go to classes during the day, take short naps, and whisk off to his night job. Though his goals were noble and definitely attainable, my brother failed to recognize his limits. Going to class required usage from the mental power source, for which a couple of hours of sleep could not replenish.
The job required more mental effort as well as physical effort. As a result of his self-imposed ideals, my brother reached a point of exhaustion that threatened his logic and life. Between the two demands, my brother cracked under the pressure. He had simply stretched himself too thin. Witnessing my brothers breakdown taught me that having high goals is acceptable, but that reasonable planning to reach those goals is just as important. When pursued logically and strategically, high goals will still challenge, but they will also prompt growth.
On the other hand, pursuing elevated goals irrationally results in unnecessary stress, which results in a despondent state of mind and eventually death. Though one goal takes precedence over the other, my brother did not have to completely abandon one for the sake of the other. School was definitely a priority that could not be compromised. On the other hand, his job could have been part-time instead of full-time. Obviously, my brother was not going to make a sufficient amount of money working his current job; therefore, the number of hours were not as important as school.
By continuing to pursue school as a full-time endeavor and reducing his work hours, my brother found a functional medium that allowed him to better balance both endeavors. Life is a gift of challenges that condition and a reward that serve as reminders. The challenges are there to strengthen us and aid in our growth to become better individuals. In addition, those challenges help us to recognize and appreciate the rewards. Though each serves in a different capacity, both should be taken with great care. Without either, we would be stuck in a stagnant pool of convenience surrounded by false senses of hope and security.