This I Believe

Simona - Columbia, Maryland
Entered on March 12, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime but most of all to teach you something and help you along the way. I arrived at this conclusion and I believe this to be true, because in my own personal life’s experiences every person that has entered my life, in one way or another, has fit into one of these categories. Throughout my journey, in retrospect, I believe that all of the people, friends and acquaintances that I have met have, in many ways, have contributed to belief that I find to be true.

Why would I believe this? Well actually, my son is the primary reason why I believe this to be true. I was expecting a healthy baby boy, however when my baby arrived, he had Cerebral Palsy and Seizure Disorder. At first, thinking I was not prepared for such a challenge, I was overwhelmed and questioned my ability to deal with such a situation. Especially, since I felt that I lacked the knowledge to deal with it in a successful way.

However, one day, I came to realize that I indeed was actually learning all the lessons that I needed in order to better understand my son, and more importantly his place in my life.. As my son grew, and as I struggled to accept his disabilities, I remembered and realized that there was a brief time before my son’s birth that I had played with a little girl, who suffered from Down syndrome.

Unknowingly, she educated me on how affectionate and full of love a child with a disability can be. Then shortly after my son’s birth, I had noticed, a little boy down the street who also had Downs syndrome, and how well he played with his many brothers and sisters. He gave me the understanding, that a child with a disability can be part of a social group and function as a vital part within a family.

Perhaps one of the most important instances in my life, that supports my belief, occurred when I was a teenager in Crailsheim, Germany. It was there that I witnessed a young man who was mentally and physically handicapped walk by my house every day from his job to his parent’s home. Although he and I never spoke to one another, my grandmother told me that he worked at a place that helped and employed people with disabilities. He convinced me that people with disabilities could learn how to find “their way” on their own. Finally and more recently, I met the mother of a child with severe disabilities, and she showed me how imperative it was to keep a positive outlook, and not to focus on the differences and challenges that I was not sure how to overcome.

Reason, season, or a lifetime – there is not a day that goes by in which that phrase does not cross my mind. Many people have crossed my path along my life’s journey and in looking back over my shoulder, I learned that these experiences helped me to understand and appreciate not only my son, but also the world around me, and my place in it. In the end, it turns out that someone really has been teaching and helping me along my way, and this is why I believe that “people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, but most of all to teach you something, and help you along the way.”