After Every Thunderstorm, There is a Rainbow

January 12, 2010
By , Houston, TX
Sometimes it takes a while to find how lucky you really are. Lucky that you have clean water to drink, lucky you have two parents who love you, or lucky you have a family. I thought I was the farthest thing from lucky, but it only took a family to help me figure out how lucky I truly am.

The Alfords were a family I was jealous of when I was little. They had a nice house, an awesome ranch house, a strong family bond, and they were just genuine people. I was mostly jealous of their material things, but I was younger then.

A couple of years ago, Dr. Alford was mowing his ranch house lawn when a tree fell on him and crushed his body. He was hurt to the extent that he became paralyzed. Dr. Alford was an extraordinary plastic surgeon. He helped reconstruct a woman’s face when she had a horrible accident and ended up on the Oprah Winfrey show he was so good. I kept asking myself why him? I myself was not sad because I did know him very well. Although I was sad because of all the things his family would now have to endure together. As months went on Dr. Alford stayed positive, he could now move his hands and conduct surgery. Although he still would never be able to move his legs, he always was so charismatic and just loved God still after his accident. Everything was going great and I began to see the hope in the worst situations.

One day when my mom picked me up from school she greeted me with a, “Hello,” and did not really say anything after that. I did not want to know what was wrong but I knew she would not tell me if I did not ask. “Mom, are you okay?” She responded,” You know Charles Alford?” I did not say anything because I knew what was coming. She said, “I guess he was not used to the feel of the car yet and swerved off the side of the road a little and when he tried to get back on the road he overshot the angle and the car flipped and lost control. The mom lived but Charles died instantly.” I thought and thought about this scenario and how horrifying it must have been sitting next to your own son dead, and not being able to do anything about it. A week later was his funeral; I just could not go into that funeral and think he was in a better place. What’s better than life itself? I have never been to a funeral before and I thought because I did not know him very well I did not really need to go. Thanks to that decision I never got full closer. I was really hiding the fact that I was scared to go. I was scared to see a dead body if it was open casket. I was scared to see his family members and all the people who knew him better than me crying. I knew that funerals tried to focus on positive things, but I knew I would probably end up crying. I just did not want to break my defensive wall and let every one see me upset.

Charles was so full of life and always had something to say. We were never really good friends, but I knew him enough to feel some regret. Charles had that personality were he could make friends if anybody and wanted to make friends with everybody. I remember this one time on the way to their ranch house and he would always shout, “Yellow car no punch backs.” I was always in a good mood when I was with him. I regret so much not going to that funeral; I regret thinking that he’s not in a better place. A couple weeks later my mom and I were walking around shopping when we saw the Alford family eating ice cream. To my surprise they were happy, not sad, but happy. I wondered how they could be so happy about their situation. I then I realized that everything happens for a reason, and that through support of friends, family, and God it’s possible to make it through some really bad times. I still often think about the Alfords when I have a misfortune, and I start praying. I might be the luckiest, but I can at least pretend I am.

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