‘I Never Thought It Wouldn’t Be There’
‘I Never Thought
It Wouldn’t Be There’
Have you ever taken the time to sit down and just think about all of the things you see in a single day? Did you ever really want to do something and then change your mind, using "well, I can always do it tomorrow" as an excuse?
All too often, I find myself and those around me building up a false sense of security. When I use the term security, I mean the fact that most of us expect everything surrounding us to be the same the next time we bother to take a look around. Meanwhile, the reality of it all is that it only takes a second for something to disappear forever.
Last week, my uncle, who left New York City 36 years ago to move to the West Coast, came back for a visit. Two days into his trip, we went down to South Street Seaport and got tickets for the viewing platform at Ground Zero. In the 31 years that the Twin Towers stood guard over the city, he was in town three times, and changed his mind about going there all three times. His main reason for wanting to go down to the site now, was to take the place of the visit he had constantly put off. As we rode the subway home, I asked him why he had never gone to see the towers when he had the chance. In a solemn voice he said to me," I never thought that they wouldn’t be there."
That night, as I was lying in my bed, I started thinking about my daily routine. Then it dawned on me—I do that every day, and I just expect everything to be the same when I wake up the next morning. Then I realized that there are so many things that can vanish before your eyes without any forewarning. On September 10, the Twin Towers stood tall and mighty, almost everyone in the city taking them for granted, everyone just assuming that they would be there the next day. It wasn’t until after the towers fell that people actually gave them the attention that they originally and rightfully deserved.
More times than most, it’s people that are taken for granted. The majority of the time an unexpected death occurs probably a parent or a grandparent passes away. The major point is, is that in most cases, it isn’t until after the person is gone that others actually begin to appreciate them and do everything they can to keep their memory alive.
Whether it be a building or a tree, or a friend or a relative, the quotation that sticks in everyone’s mind is "You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone."
Stephanie Skiba attends Bronx H.S. of Science.