Live as Though Today is the Last Day You Have
what it feels like, what goes through your head, when a popular mall you visit
every weekend is under a terrorist attack.
confusion, the why. Why are people doing this? Why is this happening? Why, why,
isn’t happening. People can’t be so terrible. This cannot have occurred in a place
I’ve walked, eaten, shopped. No, no, no.
How are we meant to get though this? How should we handle it? How will we ever
move on? How, how, how?
okay. Some achieve this faster than others, most take quite a while to come to
terms with the facts, the events, the losses.
people lost their lives, but we’ll get through this. We were so lucky, we’re
okay, we’re all right, and we’re alive.
On Sept. 21 at 11:30 a.m., terrorists
from the Somalia-based group al-Shabab attacked people at the Westgate Mall in
Nairobi, killing at least 67 people, including 15-year-old Nuriana Merali, a
girl from my school, and her mom, Selima Merali.
breakfast at Artcaffe, a popular restaurant in the mall.
morning, a back to school picnic that started at noon. There were soccer games
going on around the same time, as well as a swim meet.
was on campus. We’ve all been saying how grateful we are for having to attend a
school event on a Saturday, because if we hadn’t, my school could have had a
lot more tragedies than we did.
eight-year-old brother Alyaz was shot, but survived – another girl, in the same
freshman class, was also shot in the arm. She was hospitalized, but is recovering
from her injuries.
of thing happens every day, all over the world. There have been school
shootings in the United States and bombs going off in Syria, but it’s not the
somewhere so familiar, it’s the scariest thing in the world. There have been
pictures all over the news with dead bodies lying in places I’ve walked, places
I’ve eaten, and places I’ve shopped.
I used to live my life as though
nothing would happen, as though I was untouchable. I went to go to school in
the morning and would not think about road mines, or AK-47s or terrorists
wiring up a building.
be of the utmost importance. But then this happened, and I realized how fragile
human life is, how important it really is to live each day to the fullest.
it’s something people say to make you enjoy the little things life has to
offer, but it’s the most accurate thing in the world.
sleep at night and eating makes me feel sick. Every morning when I get up and
go to school, I’m scared that there’s going to be a shooting.
but now, that’s all I do. I think about my family dying, my friends dying, me
dying. And it scares me, but it also makes me realize that life is so precious.
exchanged fun-filled conversations, tragically lost her life. She hadn’t even
started living yet. She has a family that will never be the same because she
was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
them, but it also makes me realize how lucky I was, how lucky I am. What if my
school wasn’t having the event that Saturday? What if I didn’t have to be there
to take shifts at different booths at the school picnic until later?
go to Westgate for breakfast that morning? What if, what if, what if?
because I had to take an early shift selling calendars and couldn’t go to
breakfast somewhere that far away, so I went to a restaurant that was closer to
my house. I wasn’t there that morning.
up the mall the previous weekend, or the one before that, they decided on Sept.
21 during a school event that every single student at my school is now grateful
they will always be remembered.
Appreciate it. Hug your friends every day. Kiss your family members and tell
them one thing that you love about them every single day.
you have. Live with hopes and dreams. Live with ambition. But most of all, live
with love for the life you are blessed to be living.