Bringing me down to earth…

(From left to right: Mary, Erica (my sister!), Asha, Dionne before the Prom for adults with special disabilities)

Too often we loose sight of the things that really matter in life because we are so concentrated on things that don’t. I am reminded of this every time I visit my sister. For those of you who don’t know, my sister was born blind and autistic. She lives in a group home not far from my parents’ house with three other girls who are also handicapped. While Erica, now 25, cognitively remains at about a five-year-old level, she is a bright, vivacious, intelligent woman whom friends, family and acquaintances have learned so much from.

I often catch myself complaining about petty things, forgetting to be grateful for the simple things in life. There is nothing that can put things into perspective for me and bring me down to earth faster than visiting her. The ability to walk, run, see, hear and move our bodies and minds as we please is a luxury, not a right. It amazes me even more how happy and content they are in a situation where you or I would feel helpless and defeated.

You may find this post uncharacteristic of me (as I typically write in a more humorous tone) but I thought this was important. Stress is a major contributor to weight gain and our lives are full of it. We create it by being constantly accessible to friends, family and work and we are bombarded with negativity on various forms of media. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in it all but since very few get the opportunity to go to a place like my sisters and have this experience for themselves I thought I would do my best to pass it on to you.

Be happy with who you are and grateful for what you have. Take a moment to put your problems aside and imagine a world where you are confined to a wheel chair, have never seen a sunset, or never heard your own voice. Think about all of the things that you have, not what you lack. Enjoy the simple things in life and take a deep breath every once in a while. Remember that good health is body and mind, being emotionally stable is just as important to your health as staying active and eating well.

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One response to “Bringing me down to earth…

  1. Nice Jessica! So obvious that you adore your sister….Everyone has their place in the world and Erica has taught us to take a good look at ourselves and appreciate all that we have. You are right we, at least I, tend to focus on the petty things and I need, as you say to breathe…….

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