This I Believe

Briana - grand junction, Colorado
Entered on October 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in disease…

I stood staring out the frosted window at the snow falling off the trees making tiny little mounds on the ground. The house was filled with the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree, my family surrounded me, and everything was fine, my life was content.

Then it hits…

Gasping for air, I would compare it to getting hit in the lungs, planted to the floor, eyes glued to everyone around you, the tears coming from their eyes, as they try and calm you down. “I have MS,” my mom said. At that point I wasn’t too sure what it was, but I knew it wasn’t good.

Multiple Sclerosis is the medical term for the disease. It is a chronic, long term condition that affects the central nervous system which includes the brain and spinal cord.

I kept it in, I tried, I tried so hard to hold back, I wanted her to know that I was okay, and that maybe it will make her better too. Why my family, I kept thinking over and over again. Why my mom, I blamed everyone and everything. I remember going to visit her in the hospital, you could tell she was in pain, and just wanted to leave. It wasn’t the mom that I knew or the Robin that many others knew. She wanted to work, let me just give you a little brief story about my mom… she is the hardest working woman you would ever meet. Many say she is a work-a-holic, she was constantly traveling for work, and if her work wasn’t brought home, it was definitely brought to the dinner table discussions.

It’s amazing how you feel like your life is complete; nothing could go wrong, and in the blink of an eye your family is affected for the rest of their lives. I believe in disease, I believe that it has a hidden purpose, I believe that for those it has affected it makes them stronger, it makes them wiser, and it makes them a better person. I believe that it takes something tragic in a family to bring that family closer than ever. I believe that the affected are fighters, my mom is a fighter. She isn’t completely healthy but she is fighting it.

I may not live at home, but I see how she has grown, I see how she has changed. I know that my mom is only one in the 400,000 that are affected in the U.S. but I know that I have never met anyone as strong as she is, and you will never meet a family as strong as mine is. Yes tears are shed, and some days are hard, but my mom is my hero, and I believe that disease doesn’t necessarily have to be looked at as a black cloud over our heads. My family always says “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I believe it.