Almost everyday I ask myself, “Is that really meant to be?” And almost everyday I question myself, only soon to find that yes, it is meant to be. I am 15, I live in America, I attend a public school, and everything about me may appear to be normal, but there is one irregular thing about me: I have learned what I believe. I believe that everything, not just most things, but everything happens for a reason.
I believe this not because I read it in a book, not because I watched it on TV, and not because it was one of those lessons my parents taught me when I was young. No, I believe in ‘purposes’ because of my truly amazing sister, Brittney.
Brittney is a 17-year-old girl with blond hair and blue eyes, who sounds like every ordinary teenager. Unfortunately, though she is never perceived in this way. Seventeen years ago, August 19th to be exact, the day she was born she received an abnormal addition to her life. Brittney was born with Downs Syndrome, a condition that generally shortens everything: height, knowledge intake, and even her lifetime. She tastes everything just as I do, she smells everything just as everyone else; but one chromosome changed her life, in what I think was for the better. At first glance nobody would know exactly how great of a friend or sister she is, how smart she is, or how giving and generous she is. I would not say that the day she was born is the day I or anyone else realized that it was happening for a good reason. When she was born, I was not around, but I know that nobody really knew exactly what real benefits that she would bring.
Even through these tough circumstances, Brittney has become the most generous person I have ever met. You may now be asking, “How does Downs Syndrome serve a purpose?” or “For what good reason could Downs Syndrome taken over her life?” I can tell you why…
Through spending time with my sister, I have been taught that Downs Syndrome does exist for a reason. It exists for the intention of teaching others the importance of generosity. Generosity is what my sister has taught me and generosity is what fills all people with this disability or as I like to call it different-ability. April 21st, 2007 was a scary day for my entire family. But for Brittney, no way, that was the day she underwent back surgery for scoliosis. This surgery was very painful for Brittney, and the severe aches were said to last for about two weeks. She didn’t show a bit of pain. The day of the surgery my parents and Brittney headed off to Gillette Children’s Hospital very early in the morning. Later that morning my grandma hollered into my room, it was time to head off to the hospital. As soon as I walked in the door I knew we were there, the hospital scent is never a pleasant one. After a long wait, we were invited to go visit Brittney in her room. I walked into the room and I had never felt so bad, the sight of multiple IVs made me cringe. But when she woke up after her 6 hour surgery, she couldn’t have been less self-centered. Instead of explaining the pain, basically telling the truth, it was “How are you guys? Thanks for coming! Do you need anything?”. Not like she actually would have been able to get up and serve us, but it’s the thought that counts, right? Old, stale and bitter are common characteristics of hospital food, but to Brittney it was great! Brittney taught me generosity during her stay at Gillette, because while encountering the most painful time of her life, all she did was care for the people around her. Downs Syndrome took over my sister as a way of teaching others about generosity. Everything happens for a good reason.
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