This quote couldn’t more true , even at the age of seventeen my life has been riddled with adversity. Everything from major health related problems from birth to my father being injured at work and finally my cousin dying from cancer , all have made me realize truly the strength that I possess to carry on.
I have overcome and am continuing to overcome many health related issues all of which stem from birth. At birth my esophagus did not attach to my stomach and in order to correct this problem I had to undergo a major operation. This operation resulted in me needing a blood transfusion. Unfortunately in 1983 blood donors were not screened for diseases. I was one of many who contracted both hepatitis B and C. Hepatitis B was just jaundice and showed it self soon after the operation. Fortunately Hepatitis C is dormant for now , although it is thought around the age of thirty the true disease takes hold. There is always that daunting reality that eventually I will need a new liver. Another result of my stay in the hospital is my droopy eye caused by an incorrectly inserted IV. In this age of physical beauty and especially being a teenager it has been especially hard for me to not feel that I am inferior to everyone else. As a result of lack of funds my eye will have to wait to be corrected.
My father who has been out of work for three years because of a back injury that has left him in a tremendous amount of pain constantly. This has resulted in not only a financial strain on our family but also a burden of ache that tugs at me. I love my father dearly and it pains me to see him suffering. My parents are divorced and have been for some time, my father lives in California and before his injury I would visit at least two times a year for extended periods of time . Now that he is out of a job for all practical purposes my time with him has been cut to only a summer visit. This has also proved to be quite a emotional hardship , but as with everything else I have forced myself to accept it and to move on.
Finally the most recent and trying trial of my life has been the death of my cousin, Chrystal. By relation we were cousins but by heart sisters. As children we lived together for a number of years and even after we didn’t we would spend time together. Even as a child I knew she had this tumor developing and slowly expanding inside her that would eventually end her life but I always thought of it in the distance and that possibly something could be done for her . I spend every hour day and night with Chrystal for the last four days of her life. Chrystal was heavily medicated with pain medication , she would come and go from being conscious. I smiled constantly so as to make sure that when Chrystal opened her eyes she would see a smiling face. On January 1st of 2001 at eleven thirty five in a dimly lighted hospital room , I witnessed Chrystal take her last breath. Severely sleep deprived and emotionally exhausted from the past four days my only comfort was that I had the strength to be there for her , to know that her physical pain had ended with the ones she loved there to comfort her to the end and , to know I no longer had to smile. Chrystal embraced the life she was given and lived her life with vigor to the end. She is an inspiration to me in the dignity , strength and extraordinary optimism she carried herself with in her final days.
” Men stumble over pebbles, never over mountains. ” – Anonymous
This life I am getting hit with mountains , but I’m getting fairly good at scaling them. I am a self motivated person who can overcome anything. I strive to have the same out look of optimism that Chrystal had.