Monday, January 25, 2016

I Used To Share A Room With An Angel!!


    I grew up with an Angel.  In fact, almost all of my life I have had the privilege of having an Angel in my life.  I know what I am about to write, there will not be a lot of people reading, this blog will never go viral or even will many people know about this Angel.  All of this is okay.  But I want to write this before this Angel is called back home to be with our God in Heaven.
     Many people don't know this but my sister, Echo; has severe Cerebral Palsy.  She at one point in her life was able to walk, today not.  There was a time that she was the poster child for Cerebral Palsy and the test child for many of the innovations that are used for children, just like her.  She has never been able to do the things we were able to do as children.  She has never been to Disneyland or any other place like that.  She was never able to go to the movies by herself or even be able to go to the park and swing.  She has an amazing mind trapped in a body that doesn't work.  But the one thing that she could do was love and love unconditionally.
     I remember growing up that we were told that she would never live past the age of 6.  Then when she reached 6, they said she would never be a teenager.  Then it was she would never see 20.  Next came it could happen any time.  But now she is nearing the end.  Her body is beginning to fail and we are all coming to grips with the fact that soon she will be leaving this earth.  For us we are facing the reality that each day is a special day with her. 
     Growing up with her was a very special time.  I remember a time when we were at the University of Oregon Crippled Children's Hospital and Echo was doing her weekly therapy and time of being a guinea pig for the doctors and therapist there.  It seemed that they were always trying new things with her, new leg braces, computers that were interactive with her, and my favorite the metal they strapped to her shoes so she could walk.  This was just another time and another week.  Echo, Mom and her personal therapist, plus a group of interns were working with her when a strange new doctor entered.  I can't remember his name but he was some type of world renowned specialist.  His first words were, "Where is this angel, Echo I have been hearing about?"  This was the first time that I had heard her referred to as that.  After introductions were made, he got down on the floor and started working with my sister.  At this point, all she could do was sit up and crawl on the floor.  Boy, could she get around then.  But after about an hour of working with her, he whispered something in her ear, and he had a walker brought into the room.  He picked her up, put her hands on the walker and told her to do it.  It was the first time I saw my sister take steps.  It was the beginning of her being able to walk. Her walking didn't last long before her legs would not work and she was put into a wheelchair.   But what has stuck with me all these years later was that he called her an angel. 
     Over the years I have watched her interact with people.  People will meet her and see that although she is handicapped she always smiles.  Echo will soon leave this earth but I know that she has a special place in Heaven.  In Heaven, my sister will be able to walk again, be able to talk without the assistance of a device (I am sure she has a wonderful voice) and more importantly she will not be in pain anymore.  However I believe that God has a special place in Heaven for her and that she will truly be the Angel that she has been in my life and those that she has met. 
      I am writing this so that you will better know my sister.  It is because of her that I am who I am today.  She has taught me to love and be accepting.  It is because of her that I fight for what is right and to be determined.  It is because of her constant effort to succeed even in the midst of pain and failure that I try to always to my best.  It is because of Echo that I cry at movies (yes I admit it) and it is because of her that I see the good before the bad.   And as I stated earlier, it is because of her that I am able to love.   I truly did share a room with Angel. 


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