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Letter to the editor: Step back from chaos, appreciate loved ones

Letter to the editor:

 

If you are like me, chances are you are being chewed up and spit out by all that being a student at Ohio State has to offer.  I mean, if you haven’t noticed, there is always an event, concert, student group meeting and the like going on every single day. Most students choose to live active and busy lifestyles while in Columbus because that’s exactly the impact living in a big city will have on you.

Aside from all the fun things you can do, you also have other countless responsibilities to study for your academics, work to pay bills and keep up with your friends as much as possible. While all of this can be expected, I have recently come to the conclusion that we should not let all of these outside influences distract us from those who mean the most to us: our families.

I just began visiting an older gentleman by the name of Alvin Lawrence, who is 90 years old and lives by himself at a Columbus senior citizen home called The Forum at Knightsbridge.  For being his age, he is able to move around quite well and still has all his memory in tact. Where he doesn’t lack in recollection, Alvin is beginning to lack in the way of interaction. His wife of 55 years passed away almost two years ago, and while he has three children, only one of them live within the immediate area.

I tell of Alvin’s background first because as I was leaving his apartment for the first time, he stopped me before I walked out and struck me with a reminder that we all take for granted. He said his biggest fear wasn’t when he was going to die, only he didn’t want to have the sense of loneliness that has rendered itself over the past two years. He said days can become really lonely being alone all the time and he told me he is thankful that I will come visit when I can. It is crazy how one simple gesture can brighten somebody’s day, or even a week or a month.

To all of those whose lives seem to be moving in fast forward, here is my message to you: Take a step back from the chaos and remember those who may have helped you weather the storm along the way. You cannot get people back once they are gone and that is something I have carried with me my entire life. Regrets are a reflection of things we were short to fulfill, and my goal is to try to have as few as possible.

If you have five minutes to spare between classes, instead of listening to your favorite song, why not try something else? Call a parent, grandparent, uncle or any family relative for that matter. Those are the people who have cared about you for your entire life. People feel good when reminded how much they mean to someone else. We can always replay a song but we cannot replay life. Make it a point to let someone know how much you care about them before your time is up.

 

Wes Burden
Fifth-year in journalism
burden.52@osu.edu

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