“Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself…’How did I get through that?’” Thich Nhat Hanh said this and he is right. Hope will get us through each day and through many problems. If every body believed in hope, then life would become easier to handle.
When I was two and a half, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is where the immune system attacks the healthy tissue in the joints. Back than, the doctors didn’t know much about JRA and what caused the immune system to out of whack. The only thing they knew was that it caused the joints to get stiff and become hard to move. The doctors told my parents that I could one day wake up and be paralyzed for the rest of my life. They also said that I might have JRA for the rest of my life and that it might get worse, which had a very good way of happening later in me life. A year afterwards, my father died leaving my mom to take care of a child with a disease that not much was known about it let and that it seemed like everyone that were my dad’s “friends” disappeared. Only a few sticked around to help my mother take care of me. Back then, hope was practically the only thing holding us together.
Over the years my mom never gave up hope on me. My JRA was still active and going between well and worse. Some days I would be fine and others I would have a flare up. We never knew what my life would bring. My mom would have trouble finding a job that went along with my schedule of therapy being three times a weak and my Ann Arbor appointments; she never did find a job. Sometimes I would find my mom crying or having a brake down. I still feel sorry for her but she would still pull it together to support me one way or another. Life wasn’t perfect nor was it terrible for us, more like in between We made though the rough patches and continued to have hope and faith.
Things started to get better when I entered the middle school. I found out that my arthritis wasn’t active for the time being. I was also making honor roll and my mom got a job at my school where they could follow my current schedule. Also during this time, I had to go through surgery on my knees. My whole family hoped that when the surgery was over I would be able to move more efficiently. With their hope things turned out for the best. When all this happened, life became easier on us and happier. We still have our rough spots; but hey, who doesn’t.
When I look back at my life, I see that hope was always there and that it made things that seemed impossible, possible. My family never lost hope even though I still have JRA; we still hope that I will grow out of it. Since my last doctor’s appointment, I found out that I may not need to take too many medications and that I have a better chance of growing out of it. I believe that hope is the main thing that kept my mom and me going though life without my father and with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Hope also made things come together in fantastic ways and made life easier for everyone. We all look back and ask, “How did I get though that?” Well, the answer is through hope and the people we love being around, we can get through anything, thick or thin.
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