This I Believe

Melissa - Charlotte, North Carolina
Entered on September 7, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

It was mid-morning when I sat as a child, watching the Saturday cartoons with my

sister. My mom came in suddenly, telling us with a fearful shake in her voice, that there had been an accident. She said that if we needed anything, to go to our neighbor’s and she would be back as soon as possible. This was the first time we had been left home alone and I was terrified. My mom never came home that day. Instead, my sister and I had to be sent to a family friend’s house for the time being.

That morning, my brother had been accidentally shot in the face with a bb gun by his best friend while they were playing around. He was immediately rushed to the hospital and had to remain there for approximately four months. During those four months, my parents spent most of their time at the hospital, while the rest of us were shuttled from family to family to be watched. Over this period of time, my brother had been in a coma, went through a few surgeries, suffered a stroke, and came very close to dying. Once he recovered, he was able to leave the hospital and come back home. This was a very exciting day for all of us. But he did have to continue years of therapy for a full recovery.

And that was just what happened. A full recovery. I believe in miracles because they do happen. I have seen one happen.

This accident was really hard on my family. It tested our strength to the limits and we stood strong. It changed not only my brother’s life, but each and every one of my family members, including me.

My brother is now 22. He lives an almost normal life, with the exception of the disabilities he was left with. Although he has those disabilities, he is happy and lives life to the fullest.

As I told you previously, my brother was shot by his best friend. Yes, his best friend, but it had been in fact an accident. We wondered for a while about what really happened. But when we did find out, it always amazed me at how quickly and easily my parents were able to forgive my brother’s friend. Even more, I admired at how quickly and easily my brother forgave him. For my family, it had never been a question of forgiveness. I believe that everyone makes mistakes and accidents do happen. Some are bigger than others, but holding grudges doesn’t help anything. If you forgive and forget you will be able to move on with your life and nothing will hold you back.

This experience we went through has taught me that you should live life to the fullest, but live life carefully. People make mistakes. Accidents happen. Miracles happen. Small things can make a big difference in anyone’s life. Trials only make you stronger. This trial has only made me and my family stronger.