James - Kirkland, Washington
Entered on August 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in basketball. When I was a kid, I played basketball every day because I didn’t wanted to be at home. I couldn’t stand my parents because they were always screaming at me, so I was isolated and I felt sad at home. One day I hurt my right hip. Several weeks later, my father noticed that I limped. I had to see a doctor, so he made an appointment for the next week.

We went to the hospital for tests. They put me in a big machine. I could not move. It was noisy and I was in the dark. I was petrified. I was only thirteen years old. My hip was not broken, but I knew something was wrong because I had to go to their annex. When we arrived, a nurse walked us to a room. I saw many things I had never seen. Some children were with both of their arms broken, many walked with crutches and many were in wheelchairs. They seemed unhappy but they smiled at me. The nurse asked me to lie down on a little bed. She fastened some heavy weights on my legs. I thought it was just for a couple hours. The weight pulled on my legs so much that I suffered.

The doctor and my father talked outside the room. My father looked at me through the window with some bright eyes full of tears. I will never forget this glance. It was the first time I felt that my father loved me. Then I knew that my injury was serious. He watched me like I was his lovely son that he never had. I wondered since when he cared about my feelings. I couldn’t think about my hospitalization. I was overwhelmed by my new father. He came back about two hours later. He brought me some clothes. I now knew that I will spend a while at the hospital. My father brought me my favorite cookies. How could he know about my favorite things? I was still on my back in bed and fastened like somebody ready to be tortured, but I was smiling because of my father’s new behavior.

My mother came in the evening. She was upset when she saw me, but I reassured her. She fed me, kissed me and she treated me like a baby. Every day my mother showed up early with some things I dreamed about. My mother made my dreams come true. I spent eight months in the hospital and I was operated on twice. My parents and my siblings were the last people that I saw before the operation and the first when I opened my eyes.

Today I still play basketball. Sometimes I feel sad, upset, and anxious. I just play basketball to clear my mind. It changed my life. It also changed my relationship with my parents. Basketball has been a gift to open my eyes about the love that my family can bring to me.