December 26, 2007. The day my whole world came crashing down. It had started out with a simple back pain. How had it come to this? My dad has cancer. He has six months to live. No, this couldn’t be true. He was as strong as an ox, never sick a day in his life. My dad has cancer. Is this true? It must be a dream.
It wasn’t a dream. December 21,2008. Exactly three hundred and sixty days later, he was gone.
I stood there and watched as he took his last breath. I called 911, but there was nothing they could do. It was too late. He was gone.
That day is forever engraved into my mind. I replay the images of the flashing lights and the sound of my mom crying over and over each day. Why did this happen to him? He was an amazing man, a brave fireman, a loving husband, and a devoted father, a kind man, one that you could call day or night for help. Over seven hundred people knew this. That’s how many people showed up to his service that day.
Life can end at any moment. When it does, what are you going to be remembered for? Will it be for the fancy car and the thousands of dollars in your bank account or for your kindness, your sincerity, and your willingness to give the shirt off your back?
I don’t know what life has in store for me, but I do know what I do. I help people. It’s how my parents raised me. It’s who I am. I’ll do anything from volunteering at a hospital, acting as a camp counselor, or even simply holding the door open for a perfect stranger. I love seeing the smile on someone’s face when they realize that there are kind people out there, people that are willing to go out of their way to do something nice for another person.
Helping people, it’s what I do. It’s who I am.

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