Life lessons are a nice way to verbalize a growing experience. My life lesson was hard one to learn although it may seem obvious. Never take anything for granted. The day my friend and mentor Mr. P. died I learned that lesson over and over again. Never take a friend for granted. Never take a well thought out career path for granted. Never take a good day for granted.
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I remember every little detail, the day my chorus teacher died. I was watching a re-run of The Sopranos with my dad, when I got a call from one of my chorus friends. I really can’t say why I didn’t answer the phone but looking back on it now I don’t think I was mentally prepared to hear the news. As soon as the show was over, I remember telling my mom I was hungry. So I decided to go up to Sonic and grab a burger, maybe flirt with some girls or hang out with some of my friends. When I got in my car and drove off my phone began to ring. After three calls from my friend I finally decided to answer. I answered the phone to the sound of a voice that didn’t match the upbeat tone I had predicted. My thoughts 180ed and at that moment I knew something was wrong. That night was the night my beloved teacher died. After the phone call I didn’t believe anything I just heard. Just a week ago I was talking to the man about next year.
I remember going into his office. “Austin please sit down.” Mr. P. said. As I sat down he started to cry. Being a little uncomfortable with the situation I didn’t say a word. “You know after looking at the song your dad wrote.” (Two weeks before my dad wrote a song and wanted his opinion, because we all respected it so much.) “It really touched me.” Being Mr. P.’s student I had heard of his childhood memories but at this point he explained them to me first hand. After we got done talking us both looked at each other and I gave him a big hug and said, “I love you, Mr. P., ” “I love you too” he said. After years of admiring and learning from him, this was the first time I told him I loved him. I meant it. I know this may sound a bit weird but I am proud to say that I experienced Mr. Pittman cry. I know he is a passionate person but he is also strong willed and didn’t like to show his weak side. Some people may say that they’ve seen all of his many colors but they haven’t. I am certain I have.
As I was driving back home a car beep at me to get back in my own lane and I jumped back into reality I never in a million years expected him to die. I guess in my mind he would last forever. That night I wasn’t even thinking about Mr. P., all I was thinking about was a stupid burger and girls.
Mr. P.’s death taught me to never take the people I love for granted. Relationships with the people I love have always been important to me but I realize how suddenly life can end. Now that Mr. P. is gone, my actions have defiantly grown as a person, I am so thankful to have people in my life like my Mom and Dad, my little brother and friends even my new teacher Mrs. M. Although she is not Mr. P. I am thankful to have her in my life.
A new chapter has begun in my life and even though he isn’t here to guide me, Mrs. M. and I will pick up right where we left off. Since Mrs. M. has been at my school I have auditioned for All County Choir, All State Choir and anything she has thrown out my way, I have helped her with weekend projects like rearranging the choral room and I have even helped her quite kids down when need be. I have a new respect for Mrs. M., and from Mr. P. I have learned to hold on tight to the people you love be the best you can be and to not take them for granted.
When I was younger I would awake in the middle of the night with what my mom called “Growing Pains.” My knees would hurt like hell but it was part of growing up. The loss of my friend and mentor was more painful than any pain I have experienced. I now see that it’s a part of reality that is necessary for growth.