Stop, Look Ahead, Look Behind, Look Forward

Taylor - Woodbridge, Virginia
Entered on September 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

With life, you never know what is going to happen. There are so many twists and turns that you never really know what is around the next bend. Sometimes I just have to stop, look behind me, around me, and try to look ahead just to get my head on straight. With all this uncertainty in life, I feel like you have to appreciate the little things and use every little experience to your advantage. Even though it is hard at times, it is the way I want to live my life.

Ever since I was young, I have known nothing along the lines of a “normal” family. I grew up with two severely handicapped brothers, one older than me and one younger. We were all summer babies, two years apart. At times it felt like I was an only child since there was no one around that could play with me or get into trouble with. At the time I just saw them as my handicapped brothers, nothing else. I would try to play with them sometimes but they were nothing close to the level I was at, and I would get bored quickly. Sometimes it was a pain when one of them was hospitalized because my normal activities would be in disarray and I never knew when it would get back to normal.

No one could tell me why my brothers were so different. Medically, the doctors didn’t know. Spiritually, they never gave me an answer I wanted. I just wanted a straight up answer along the lines of, “This is why your brothers are your brothers.” At the time I didn’t know why I never got that answer. As I grew up, I finally realized that life is what you make it, and my brothers were given to my family to make us better people. Caring for two severely handicapped boys is no easy task, but we always did what we had to do and got things done. Without my brothers, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. My main objective in life is to help others in any way I can, and I have the influence of my brothers to thank for that.

When I graduate, I will be a child life professional. It basically requires me to work with children in the hospital and made their experience less traumatizing. Every time I walk through the hospital doors, I hope that I can help at least one child that day, even if it’s to do something small for them. You never know what is going to happen to them during their hospital stay, there are no guarantees. I just try to let them live in the moment and make the best of every day. I may not live a life full of riches, but knowing that I’m going to impact at least one life is worth everything to me.