This I Believe

Joshua - Westminster, Colorado
Entered on June 22, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in my baby brother. He has given me a whole new perspective on life.

Before, I’ve always seen him as the baby of the family and nothing more. Being the last of us children, he has taken away most of the attention away from his older siblings. He was just as normal as any other brother or sister.

As the oldest in the family, I believed that I was only to look after my younger siblings. I saw them as a burden, especially my baby brother. I thought life was unfair as I grew up.

In 1998, my family was coming back form California. When we arrived to Denver International Airport, a dark and dreadful cloud began to surround my baby brother. In time, it surrounded our entire family. My baby brother was diagnosed with a lung disorder. My baby brother… couldn’t breathe by himself.

This lung disorder has imprisoned him inside our home. He needed the help of a machine to allow him to breathe. He wasn’t strong enough to carry any of the equipment that allowed him to move outside. He couldn’t play with his friends. He never learned how to play any sport, like I did when I was his age.

As we grew older, I felt so helpless, so insignificant, and so powerless. His condition never got worse, but it never got better. I wished so many times to get rid of his disorder, but those wishes never came true.

Then came the peculiar day. The day in which he asked my parents and me, “Why am I not like other kids? Why can’t I run and play and never get tired?” No one had an answer for him. But that wasn’t what surprised me.

As he asked us, he shed no tear or had a gloomy expression at all. He knew that he had problems with his lungs. Still, he asked. Still, he woke up every morning and smiled and laughed. It was as if he asked himself those two questions his entire life. I can’t remember a day where he cried because he hated himself or his disorder. When he cried, he cried like little kids do over the littlest things. He looked at life in the most positive way as he can.

Today, he is very healthy for his condition. He runs whenever he can. Even though he doesn’t like sports as much as video games, he still tries to get better at them. I don’t see him as a burden or a baby, but as my brother. All my family means so much more to me because of him. He enjoys life like others do. He doesn’t use his disorder as an excuse for anything he does wrong. So why should I make up excuses and say life is harsh?

Life is unfair. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it. I don’t see a cup as half empty but as half full. I have more appreciation for everything around me because I believe in my brother, Austin.