Never take Life for Granted

Hannah - McConnells, South Carolina
Entered on March 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Never Take Life for Granted

On September 13, 2004, I woke up to a silent house. Right away I knew that something did not feel right, so I went down the hallway into my parent’s bedroom. I soon saw that there was no one there. A million thoughts ran through my head as to where they were. Later on that morning my sister and I were informed that my father was at the hospital, and that my mother would tell us something as soon as she found out. That afternoon my mother told us that doctors said that he had suffered a severe stroke and that the next 24 hours would tell the severity of the entire situation depending on whether the brain swelled or not.

The next few days where very crucial in finding out what areas of the brain had been affected. Later on we found out that his left artery in his neck was fully blocked, and that there was no blood flow to his left part of the brain. With the left side of the brain being damaged it meant that his right side would be paralyzed, and that his speech would be affected.

After a few days in the hospital, he was sent to rehabilitation to learn to cope with his new disabilities. Rehabilitation was a very tough time for him because he did not know at first how to accept the disability. Over the next month he learned to use his right leg, so that he could walk without a cane. His speech is hard to understand a lot of the times because he knows what he wants to say, but he just can not get the words out. The only thing that he had no luck with in recovery was his right arm. His arm has no mobility and is very cold from the little blood flow that comes through it.

Now after 3 ½ years, he has learned how to deal with these disabilities. My father has found out that if his right arm want move, then guess what he has a left one that can do things also. With his left arm and hand he can do a lot of things that I could never dream of doing with two hands let alone one. He has learned how to accomplish many things with his disability. One of his favorite hobbies is to take apart, repaint, and put antique tractors back together. This shows us that anything is possible even if you only have one hand.

My father is by far the strongest man that I have ever had the privilege of meeting. When things got rough for him he could have gotten down or given up, but he did not. Just go out there and live life to the fullest, because you never know what will happen to you or when your life may change. This experience was a wake up call for me, because it made me realize that something like that could happen to me. Thus I believe that one should live life to the fullest, no matter his or her disability or limitations.