Have you ever lived with a boy or girl with special needs? Have you ever got to experience the hardest part of their day or their worst attitude, or have you got to experience the best thing that’s ever happened to you?
Special needs people are just like us: they have mood swings, but they’re still the best experience. I lived with my parents and my sister until my grandma got real sick and couldn’t take care of my aunt anymore, so my mom took my aunt in. My aunt had cerebral palsy, “a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by damage that occurs to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth. (google definition)
My aunt has lived with me for 10 years and she is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I don’t live a normal life. I can’t be like everyone else and go to places every weekend. I’m not allowed to watch things with flashing lights. I’m not aloud to put ketchup on her plate. Without her, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Rori moved in with us, not knowing who we were or knowing how to say her numbers, alphabet or name. I was in pre-K, and as I was learning my number and alphabet I would also get to teach my Aunt Rori. I wasn’t teaching to someone who already knew, or telling someone who knew I was telling someone I could help. The best experience I have had with my aunt is being able to wake up every morning to still be able to see her in that room beside me; to walk in there to her bed, and have her want to give me the biggest hug. Even though she is in a wheelchair --she can’t walk-- and she can only use her left hand, so she likes to color. She is amazing at it. I walk into the house everyday and see a new picture in my room on my bed everyday, and she is so excited to give it to me. It’s overwhelming knowing that someone will always be there for me and love me.
Recently, Aunt Rori woke up and was having trouble breathing. She couldn’t take the oxygen, so we called the ambulance and all they had to do was look and her and notice her chest was bloated and immediately took her to the hospital.
Athens couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her, so they Careflighted her to Tyler. The same night, she had a really high sodium levels, and the doctor said they were surprised she even lived. She was in the hospital for two weeks. They did a bunch of test and sent her home in higher dose of her medication.
Thinking about all that in my head is the scariest part of my life: knowing that the person I love the most could’ve died right in front of my eyes. I can’t imagine what it would be like if she could have never again drawn a picture or color; what it would be like if I would never get a big hug in the morning from her when she wakes up, and that I might never see the biggest smile in the world again. It’s hard to think about.
Special needs people are just like us: they have emotions, they have integrity, and most of all they have love they give no matter what. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my aunt; without her showing me the way to God, and begging to go to church with me. She shows me it’s always nice to help others, and that it’s always nice to have someone there for us even if they don’t understand what we really mean. People with special needs aren’t dumb or stupid. They’re the best thing on this world.