Cousin Rachel B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Mycousin Rachel was born deaf. Her parents were devastated and weren't sure theycould handle this seemingly impossible responsibility. Learning sign languagewouldn't be easy. Raising Rachel has certainly been a learning experience, but Ithink I've learned more than anyone.

Rachel is two years younger than me,but she has more wisdom than I might ever have. She attends a school for thedeaf, but works at a level of at least a hearing seventh grader. She amazes mewith her mathematical ability, and how she can crack equations in the blink of aneye.

Since Rachel cannot hear, her other senses are stronger. She is anexceptional artist, and her bright paintings hang around her room. She evenpainted a mural of a sparkling night sky on her ceiling. Her ability to play theviolin blows me away. She can't even hear the beautiful sounds, but she enjoys itas much as anyone. Beethoven is one of her idols. She communicates through hermusic and art better than she is able to with words, although watching her usesign language is fascinating.

Rachel does, however, have someimpediments. When people see her with her special dog trained to assist her, theyassume she is not intelligent. People underestimate her all the time. When herparents decided to send her to overnight camp last summer, the camp discouragedit. Rachel went, though, and she had a great time. It amazes me how she defiessociety's expectations. She consistently rises above those low expectations andalways strives to improve; her determination drives her to succeed.

Rachelhas helped me learn that obstacles can make people strong. She has a totallydifferent perspective on life and it is refreshing to spend time with her. Shedoesn't get wrapped up in trivial matters, and her values seem more genuine thanmine. She is so expressive and creative that sometimes I forget she can't hearwhat's going on around her. I wonder if she thinks about what she doesn't have.That is such a common human fault, but Rachel doesn't seem to dwell on it. Thesmile on her face erases any doubts that I have about her happiness.

Iwonder if she knows what she's missing - or whether she's truly missing anythingat all. Actions speak louder than words, especially in Rachel's case.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 10:15 am
i love this so much!
Galexy said...
May 15, 2017 at 1:16 pm
@Oelania P. grammar issues but i loved the story keep up the good peices plz
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