Lessons learned

In many instances, the things people experience in life define who they are
today. This can include experiences such as hardships, tragedies, spectacular
stories, and more. However, I have not experienced any of these types of
incidents. Instead, it is another person’s experience that has defined who I am.
The lessons I have learned from this person that may have seemed like the most
insignificant lessons at the time turned out to be lessons that have shaped me
into an independent young woman striving to put as much effort possible into
everything I do.
Eight years ago, I met a girl who instantly changed my life by becoming my
best friend. This girl is the strongest person I have ever met. She was ill,
diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, lupus, and recently, pancreatitis. She didn’t like
to share how sick she was, and she never wanted to show when she felt ill. She
wanted to be like everyone else, and always worried about what people would
think of her or how they would treat her if they knew she was sick. Because of
this, I always made sure I would treat her as an equal and not make her feel any
different from anyone else. For years, I was the only friend she had that knew
about everything that was going on. I was touched that she trusted me to know
everything about her even when she was scared of being treated differently.
It was extremely difficult for me to handle her being sick at times. The first
time she was hospitalized since I knew her, I remember my heart almost
shattering into an innumerable amount of pieces. I didn’t know how to handle it
and I felt completely useless, like I couldn’t be any help to her at all. I went to the
hospital and sat there with her every day until she was discharged. She always
had a smile on her face when I was there and she made it as if by just being there
I was doing the greatest thing anyone could have ever done for her. She made
the little things I did for her that any decent person would do seem…