This I Believe

Leanna - El Paso, Texas
Entered on May 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: hope
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I believe that while there is life there will always hope. Hope is our inspiration for life. God allows us to experience the low points in our lives in order to teach us the lessons we can’t learn in any other way. From these low points in our life hope is born-hope for a new beginning, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for love, hope for a cure. Even through our darkest times hope will shine and carry us through it.

When I was younger, my mother announced to my sister and I that we were going to have a new baby sister. At that moment I didn’t feel jealousy as some children do in having to accept a new family member, instead I felt overwhelmed with excitement and happiness in having a new sister to care for and play with. Soon the months passed as if they were years it seems and my baby sister was born. I remember the exact moment of seeing her, nothing in the world could have been more beautiful to me. I couldn’t wait for her to grow old enough for me to teach her the things of this world.

Then one day everything changed. I remember hearing my mom cry all night. The next morning she picked me up from school and while we were in the car she tried to explain to me what may have been the hardest thing for her to say. My little sister was diagnosed with a disorder known as Rett Syndrome; she was only a year and a half at the time. Rett Syndrome is a neurological disorder found only in girls. They begin to regress, and are never able to speak, live independently, and some never even walk. I couldn’t understand why God had done this to my sister. Why was he going to make this child’s life so hard? I didn’t want her to live with being labeled and stared at because of the ignorance of people in this world. Each day I would hope that she would just get better, but all there was, was hope. One day while at the store with my sister and mom, a lady looked at my sister and said she was sorry. Although I was young I remember thinking, “what is she sorry for?” and then I realized I was sorry for her. Sorry that she couldn’t understand and see just how wonderful my sister was: a gift given to us. That women would never be able to feel or understand the love I have for my sister. She may be different from other kids, but isn’t everyone in the world different? Its what makes us special. I love my sister and I would never want her any other way then what she is.

I believe in hope. Hope not for a cure for this illness, but for a cure for society to see and accept those for what they are instead of what they are not.