This I Believe

Bianca - San Francisco, California
Entered on June 21, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Looking back at our own childhood, we experience close ties with our parents. We can all recall one time or another when we tripped and scraped our knee, and our parents came running to our side, put a bandage on it, kissed it, and assured that everything will be fine. We look up to them like they are superheroes. When I was young, I thought my father was everything. Death was never a word that I associated with my father. I felt that he was invincible and no illness or harm could ever touch him. This all changed for me four months ago when my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, a slow and painful illness that impairs one’s mobility.

Through this life changing event, I believe that inner strength is what helps me overcome my father’s disability.

Now that I am much older, the tables have turned, and I know realize I can loose him at any moment. All I have now are memories of the days that my father would religiously attend every one of my volleyball tournaments. I remember hearing his distinct voice out of hundreds in the crowd. The tone of his voice showed how much he cared, and how proud he was of his daughter. It empowered me to put more effort into every game, and into every serve. I remember him running up to me after every volleyball game, showering me with praise, hugs, and kisses. Everything changed since Parkinson’s Disease.

I used to wake up to the smell off scrambled eggs made by my father. Now it’s me cooking and feeding him breakfast. He used to drive my family everywhere we needed to go. With my father’s disability, now I drive to get groceries, pick up my mom, bring my father to the doctor, and pick up his medicine. I have all these obligations on top of my school work.

I have taken the role of a parental figure. Now it’s him looking up to me, like I used to look up to him. It hurts to watch someone you thought would live forever, slowly deteriorate in front of your eyes, but it’s something I have learned to cope with. It is my inner strength that gave me the drive to continue acting as a parental figure. It is my inner strength that keeps my faith strong that he will get better. It is my inner strength that helps me cope with his disability. It is my inner strength that helps me continue going to school without worrying. It is my inner strength that keeps a smile on my face through tough times like this.

This I believe.