We have all done things we wish we could take back. We have all thought that we would be able to say we were sorry for something we did or said to some one. The truth is that we can not necessarily do this all the time.
The community of North Augusta is learning this lesson. Uriel Diaz, a freshman here at North Augusta, passed away on Easter Sunday. He drowned. This article isn’t a story of his death, in fact this is an article of the lesson he taught all of us.
Many people here, myself included, were always mean and rude to him, and many people just wrote him off. They didn’t take the time to get to know this boy. If they did they would have realized he was sweet. He helped others when he could; he had a great heart. However, people didn’t take the chance to get to know this side of him, and, instead, were rude to him.
We had a friendship, and Uriel always told me he had feelings for me. We met in the library where he was a helper. He just talked to me about anything and everything. I remember the next time I went in there, he had a poem for me titled “You are My Garden” where he compared me to a garden. He’d call me beautiful and when ever he’d introduce me to his friends, he’d always say I was his future girlfriend. I wasn’t interested in him that way and every time I told him this, he’d say, “you don’t have feelings yet but you will.” So I tried to push him away by just being a really mean. He never gave up on me though. He asked me to hang out with him the Thursday before he died and I said. in the meanest way I knew of, that he needed to quit trying to be friends with me because I’d never be interested in him in any way. I told him that until he realized that I didn’t like him, that I would never hang out with him outside of school. The moment I found out he passed, I automatically remembered what I said and literally burst out in tears because no one deserves to be treated that way.
There are others out there who share this feeling. Lizzie Lurley, an 8th grader at North Augusta Middle, said, “He would call me beautiful and wanted to get to know me, and I would ignore him most the time. Then, when I found out that he passed, I balled my eyes out. I started thinking of the way I, and others treated him. I knew I should of got to know him better and just accept his compliments.”
Aileena Delgado, a sixth grader from North Augusta Middle, recollects how she treated him: “I regret calling him panda bear eyes. I treated him in person really nice, but when we talked through the phone I was mean because he liked me but I was going out with his cousin so I treated him like he was the ugliest, but he wasn’t.”
Junior Victoria Lynn remembers, “I treated him like he’s a stranger to me, but I do feel really bad because he tried to be my friend and i rubbed him off, and I knew he was a really sweet guy. I remember the first message he sent to me was, ‘let’s be friends tell me everything about you.’ I told him little things about me, and he asked me, ‘What lunch do you have and can I sit with you?’ I ignored that question and then he constantly sent messages like, ‘hey, what are you doing beautiful,’ day after day. The last message he ever sent me was, ‘ do you have a boyfriend?’ I also ignored that question. I was shocked when I found out he died.”
Victoria summed up what Uriel was: ”He’s a sweat heart.”
Lizzie thinks, “he would feel upset but loved” if he knew what people are saying about him now. She continues, “Upset because why couldn’t people treat him like they are now when he was here. He probably thought everyone hated him, he had no friends, all that. Loved because he found out people actually cared and they’d do anything to have him back on Earth. Uriel was a really strong, and nice kid. Every time someone put him down, disrespected him, he would brush it off and carry on like nothing happened. And he’d still have no problem with them.”
I think that Uriel’s death has shown me why we follow the Golden Rule. We think that when we say something mean to people, that we can take it back. Sometimes we can’t.
Knowing what we know now, knowing the regret that we feel, knowing how miserable and mean we were, people have been quick to offer what they wish they could say to Uriel.
Victoria: “I wanted to tell him that I’m sorry that I rubbed him off when he tried to be my friend. It wasn’t very nice of me, and if I could go back in time, I’d definitely change everything!”
Aileena: “I’m sorry for what I’ve done to you. You were a really nice boy and I never should have treated you like that. You should always treat a person like you want to be treated. Uriel Diaz, I never treated you the way you treated me. But now it’s too late to change what I’ve done. Now you’re in God’s arms where people are not so mean and disrespectful to you. You’ll be missed Uriel Diaz”
Lizzy: “I’m really sorry for the myself and others have treated you. If there was a chance to go back and say ‘sorry,’ I’d kill to have that chance. I’m just very sorry and I regret it.”