This I Believe

Hannah - Knoxville, Tennessee
Entered on December 12, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: disability
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I believe that life is precious.

About a year ago I was at an event helping set up when a young boy walked up to me and said, “Hello.” Being preoccupied I replied without turning around, “Hey,” and then continued what I had been doing. A moment later I felt a small hand grab mine. This was enough to get my attention so I turned around. I looked down and saw the brightest eyes imaginable staring at me through thick rimmed glasses. With a large grin the boy looked up at me (his hand still in mine) and sweetly slurred, “I’m Huston. Who are you?” Little did I know that this little boy I had just met would change my life forever by teaching me just how precious life is.

Huston has Down Syndrome, but despite that he goes on living like a normal nine year old boy. His mother home schools him and displays more patience and love than anyone I have ever seen. Not only is Huston smart and continuing to learn daily, but he has a joy for life that most people never see; much less ever experience.

I have continuously been inspired by Houston since the first day I met him. His boyhood love for sports and having fun even includes a passion for dance. Huston is definitely an entertainer and does an amazing job at it. Last fall he entered a talent show for 4H where he showed us his High School Musical dance routine. Recently he was in the Nutcracker and played his role with such ease and excitement. Each time Huston steps on the stage he accurately portrays his character and his joy makes him shine in every performance.

Huston and his child like faith will always inspire people. The feelings of embarrassment or self doubt which inhibit us escapes him. His love for life and all that it holds is freely expressed. Whether he is doing a commercial overseas for the armed forces special needs families, or just being the nine year old boy that seems to always make others smile. Huston always reminds me of how precious life is and how much I take for granted.

I have learned to appreciate life just by being around him, through the excitement that is seen in his face or a loving hug he gives you. Huston can always brighten your worse days with his personal joy. He sees details that we tend to overlook and ignore in our hectic schedules. He has given me a new perspective by allowing me to see what he sees, which has made me much more appreciative of life in general and proving how precious each life is. Houston’s love of art allows people to view life differently. When you see his paintings and photographs it is as if you are looking through his big beautiful eyes and seeing his heart.