Cerebral Palsy & My Brother

My brother was born with a severe case of cerebral palsy.  For those unfamiliar with CP, it is a disorder(s) that involve the brain and nervous system functions, such as movement, learning, seeing, hearing, etc.  CP is not something you are born with per se, it happens by way of head injury, bleeding of the brain, brain infections, and so on.  In the case of my brother, he received head/brain trauma due to some poor decisions made by the doctors during delivery.  CP can also bring on other complications, such as bone thinning, scoliosis, and pneumonia...all things by brother battled with. 

My brothers name is Jearamiah.  Even though he lacked the ability to walk and talk, he taught me the most about life...how to treat people, how to take advantage of the basic things God has given me, and just to be thankful.  Be thankful that you have the ability to communicate, to walk, to fully experience life. Jearamiah might not have been able to experience all that life had to offer, but the life he did have was made so much better by our parents.  He was always well taken care of and because of that, he smiled all the time. 

I think the older we get the easier it is to allow ourselves to become callus...develop a thick skin about whatever might cause us to feel things we just do not care to feel...and that is what is accepted these days.  Self involvement and self gratification trumps selfless thoughts and actions. 

I am not someone that takes myself too seriously, but I am one that does not like to hear jokes about mental retardation.  I think it is a low blow and horribly insensitive. I can physically feel myself getting hot with anger when I hear someone using the sounds and movements of someone that is mentally retarded.  How are you going to tease someone who might not be able to defend themselves and what kind of person are you that you find it funny?

After Jearamiah passed away, I changed a few things in my life.  I decided to make a conscious effort to take better care of my body.... that's when I decided to (attempt) running.  I have 2 legs, I should use them.  Not everyone is able too...my brother never had the chance, so why am I sitting here?  I never was a mean person, but I decided to try to be less selfish and think of others more.  I decided not to allow negativity take over my thoughts and actions.    This is how I see it...if my brother is observing my thoughts and actions from heaven, I don't want him to be disappointed in his big sister.  I'm sure he's not proud of every thought that pops into my head, but I do make the effort to be a good person everyday. 

The #1 thing my brother taught me was just how short life really is...why waste it?

My brother lived 24 years and I miss him everyday.  I have this habit where I'll ask people if they are close to their siblings or watch how they interact.  It's something I envy. 

United Cerebral Palsy is a great organization educating, advocating, and providing support services.  My mom calls them up whenever she has anything to donate.

I just wanted to share about CP because I know a lot of people are unfamiliar with it. 

"Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

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