Updated: Mar 17, 2020
The greatest gift my parents ever gave me was travel. Visiting places like Mexico, Morocco, South Africa and India really opened my eyes. Parts of India had some of the most impoverished neighborhoods I had ever seen--I had never seen homeless families and children on the streets like that before. It made me realize how lucky I was and am to this day to have shelter and my family around me.
Everybody has a story to tell. I don’t know what it’s like to live in poverty and that kind of hardship. I do know another kind of hardship though--health. Sometimes people assume that I live in a bubble. What they don’t always know is that I have struggled with health issues many times in my life. I almost died from heart failure when I was only three months old. My Velo Cardio Facial Syndrome (VCFS) was responsible for this heart failure and is responsible for my dyslexia and ADD. Not too long ago, the summer before my wedding, I was constantly passing out and eventually my heart actually flatlined for about seven seconds. I came back by the click of a button as I was wearing a kind of, “pre-pacemaker.” They put it in you to see if you will need one or not, and when my heart flatlined, the person who was with me at the time pressed the button on the control to activate my, “pre-pacemaker,” and saved my life. After that incident, I had a real pacemaker put in.
There are different kinds of hardships in life. I have not had to live in poverty, but I have had to battle poor health. People can be quick to assume they understand a person, or a situation like living in poverty. They can even be quick to understand what it is like to have an LD. I feel it’s good to travel, see new places, and most importantly, try to understand that when we see someone, we are really only seeing the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to know, to understand, and to accept.