11March

These Two Have Changed My Life

I have to take a moment to talk about the most important people in my life. I call them sister and mother, you know them as “one of the chicks and the old lady” :). Today is my sister’s birthday, and I can’t help but reflect on what a wonderful woman she has become.

Life has not always been easy for her. She has a developmental disability that makes her more like a teenager vs. an adult. Her disability was very difficult for my parents to accept, and that resulted in years spent coddling and masking her challenges out of love and fear. However, even with that veil of overprotection, she was always destined for more.

My sister would go on to overcome the challenges of passing the CLAST (Florida’s College Level Aptitude Skills Test) after being an honor student in high school with a math deficiency. She kept missing it by one point for about a year and a half; and was not able to graduate with a degree. However, she never gave up and earned her degree after scoring exceptionally high on her GED. She also would decide to come live with me here in Orlando, get a job, and go to college even after being told she would never be able to accomplish those things.

She is a living testament to the audacity of hope, and I’m so blessed to have her in my life. She is my greatest ally, and best friend. She knows me completely, and loves me anyway. That is a true blessing in itself. She makes me better. She helps me see that nothing in life is unattainable with hard work and discipline. For her it’s never about the number of times it takes to complete a task, it’s about staying focused until the goal is achieved.

Her heart is so pure, it’s beautiful. She doesn’t allow frustration and pain to make her jaded. She realizes that she is just one of the people in this world that will have to work harder than the average person to make it. Could you imagine what we could accomplish in this world if we all felt that way about our lives?

I didn’t realize how blessed I was to have her in my life growing up. I wasn’t ashamed of her. But, I wasn’t completely understanding of our differences either. I didn’t invest the time I should have to understand her better. I regret that. But, I know that I wasn’t ready to understand then. I was such a child, and she required the understanding of a woman. I would’ve never been able to be the sister she needed when we were younger. I’m just thankful that God’s plan was beyond my thinking, and brought us closer when he knew we were ready. I couldn’t imagine my life without her!

There is so much I could say about her. So, many blogs that could be written about our experiences. Especially now that we’ve added our mom, the old lady :) to the mix. But, I want to make sure I say one thing; “She changed my life for the better”. She has taught me how to love someone more than myself. She has taught me patience in the face of extreme tragedy and anger. She has taught me that life is what you make it, and your family is the root of it all. I love her dearly, and I just want to her know that I’m so blessed to have her in my life. I’m also extremely grateful that God gave her to us on this day!

Happy Birthday Cookie!!!!

xo

Posted in Front Page, Caregiving

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