My cousin Carrie is my inspiration. She has a special place in my heart. She smiles constantly, laughs as much as she can, and really lives life to the fullest. She has a way of making everyone feel like they are the most important person in the world. She is 19 years old and is mentally handicapped. She has been all her life.
It has always amazed me how this girl always smiles. There are the rare times when she stops, usually when she is playing around with you or trying desperately to give you attitude. She laughs at everything and has one of the most contagious laughs. She holds my hand every time I see her and takes me everywhere with her and introduces me over and over again to every person she can find.
Carrie has has overcome many setbacks, but she is not the kind of person to let her handicaps hold her back. You see, she graduated from high school last Friday. We never expected Carrie to be able to graduate. We definitely never expected her to be able to live any sort of normal life. But she not only lives her life, she lives it to the fullest.
A lesson to be learned
Why am I telling you this? I am telling you because I believe we can all learn a lesson from her. Carrie lets nothing hold her back. Her determination is strong, and her passion for life is even stronger. We Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers have he same capability for our determination and passion for life as well. We can still live life to the fullest. Yes we have set backs, but it is how we handle them that matter. We can choose to sit back and dwell on the things we can no longer due instead of focusing on the things we are still able to accomplish. But living like that is lonely, I know because I have been there. We can still live life to the fullest. We can smile and laugh. Yes, it can be hard at times, but we are still capable of it.
Carrie had a wonderful support system. Mainly her mother Carrol who has nurtured her and gave her more love than a little girl could ever ask for. She let Carrie know that she could do anything she set her mind to and that she could accomplish great things. And she has! Do you have a good support system? If not, please know that you are not alone. We are here to support you. You can accomplish great things, and you can live your life to the fullest, regardless of what RA throws your way!
Published On: May 29, 2008