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This essay is about perseverance . Two summers before I graduated high school I was a girl working through my first adolescence crushes and pondering my next trip to the mall . By summer 's end I was an adult dealing with the greatest loss of my life . I struggled with and explored issues that would define who I was in adulthood and came to understand the true meaning of perseverance . As I remember that summer and the years that followed they become a pivotal moment in my life and represent my transition from a

child into an adult

The grass stuck to my ankles , making them itch . Sweat ran in rivulets down my cheek . It must have been 120 degrees . I should have cut the stupid grass when it was not so hot , but there were better things for a seventeen year old to do in July . Only a little more to go as I looked over at my newly bought used car that was just waiting to be driven for the second time . The next day my family was leaving for a trip to Glass Lake , and I was not going . The thought of being home alone , freedom left the dull ache of excitement in my stomach and I smiled to myself My sisters will spend the entire week exploring the old resort , as I once had done . I was hoping to do some exploring of my own with the newest guy in town who had taken quite an interest in me . I stopped the mower and ran to my mom , who was calling me from the house . At this point I did not know that I would learn the lesson of my life about perseverance

Those next few seconds in time are frozen they are ones I will never forget . I will not forget the smell of chocolate chip cookies that flooded my nostrils as I entered the kitchen . The sun 's rays shone through the door wall , and my tears bounced off the sunny yellow patterns of the kitchen linoleum , as my mother told me James and Melissa had been in a terrible accident . Through my sniffles I asked eventually , if they were dead . The answer came slowly that Melissa was fine but James was in a coma . This was not happening . James , my best friend since elementary school , was barely alive . We had just gone together to pick up my new car , and he even pitched in the last hundred dollars . We celebrated with ice cream and gossip about his new girlfriend Melissa . Would I ever hear his laugh again ? James was blonde , strong but certainly not a jock type . I knew I would have to persevere and keep strong for James . He had just graduated top of his class ,at our high school this past June , and was expected to attend the local engineering college in the fall . He was everything you could ever want in a friend

The information about the specifics of the accident came slowly . There were rumors of drinking among my friends , which Melissa adamantly denied in private . But the truth proved hard to hide , thanks to TV news . The footage played again and again . Melissa , in the foreground talking to a cop , rubber legged and still obviously drunk . The smashed car , the broken tree , and James ' bloody body being pulled from the wreck wide eyed . It would be two years before I saw those blue eyes again Everyone said he would die and never wake up . It broke my heart but I just could not believe it

Our family vacation was put on hold because his family needed us now My parents did their best to keep me from the hospital . It angered me and I wondered why I was old enough to stay home alone but not old enough to go to the hospital . After all he was my best friend ! When I finally did go to visit James , after an ample amount of foot stomping and pleading with my parents , it was just days after the accident . I entered his room half expecting to see his smile and hear him recount his hospital adventures . However , I did not see James at all . Just a body wrapped in bandages , a face so swollen and stitched , that for a moment I thought I had gone into the wrong hospital room . I knew he had gone through a great deal but he did not let himself die . He hung onto life and I hung onto him

The only sign of life in the room was the ventilator , which breathed for him . The sound of mechanical breath would haunt my day dreams and nightmares years into my adulthood . I remember holding his hand and understanding why my parents did not want me to come . His parents wanted to take him off life support but I told them not too . I told them that James would wake up . I told them we just needed to wait a little bit longer . It was hard to wait and be patient . There were days were I struggled through the frustration and the hurt to see James each and every day . To tell him , because I believed that he could hear me that , that he would wake up and we were all waiting for him

Years later I was glad I had come that day and days after - holding his hand , reading the high school newsletter , and the local sports page . We waited , we prayed , we hoped , and then we gave up hope . I never for once thought that James would die . Two years later , almost to the day , James woke up . He was smiling , with no front teeth , hungry and still my best friend . I never saw Melissa again , and I hope I never will . My diligence and perseverance paid off

That was the summer that lasted two years . It began for me in the hopes of losing a bit of girlish innocence , but in the end I gained my adulthood and what it truly meant to be a friend . I see James almost everyday and each day I am thankful he is still my best friend . I learned that friendship was not about merely having fun but about perseverance and sticking with a friend through the good and bad days When my life gets difficult and I feel like quitting I remember that summer with James and how I never gave up . I learned that if you can just hold out and wait a little bit longer everything will work itself out . After all , I persevered a little bit longer for James , fought with his parents to keep him on life support and it saved his life . If we all just persevered longer the world would be a better place ...

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