Tuesday, May 17, 2011

a touching story .

Every so often you come across something that just really touches you. Well, today was one of those days and I couldn't help but watch this video about Josiah Viera with tears streaming down my face for the majority of the second half.

The video is here: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5788144
I recommend watching it before you keep reading.

I can't imagine what it is like to be a parent, and to see your child struggle so much, with the simplest things that we take for granted daily, from the little things like eating and brushing your teeth, all the way down to the normal bodily functions like breathing and just walking around.

There is some sort of spark that resides in these people, these people that struggle to function physically. I'm convinced of it -- simply because of the stories that we hear of these people, whether they are adults or children, who somehow spit in adversity's face as they pass it by. There is no challenge too great for these people, and there is nothing that they will give up doing until it has been accomplished. They have drive like no other, and no matter how many times they may fall down, or how many times they fail, or how many times they are told that they won't be able to do something, in the end it doesn't matter for them. They keep trying.

There's something to be learned from these unfortunate people. Or maybe, in reality, they are fortunate, moreso than the rest of us. Perhaps they are just that much more thankful for all that they have and all that they can do. Perhaps they wake up every day, happy simply because they are alive. The things that would barely put a smile on our faces would light theirs with joy.

It's humbling, in a lot of ways. It really makes you think about all the blessings that you have, and the opportunities you are gifted with. It makes you think about the things you take for granted, and one would hope, that these feelings and realizations stick with you over the years.

I think to some extent, these people with these glorious attitudes on life are sent for us -- a sort of modern-day prophet. Whether they profess it or not, just being able to hear their stories is heartwarming, and touching.

In one part of the video, Josiah's mom admits that one of the hardest things to accept about him was that she would most likely (if not almost definitely) outlive her son. Hearing that from day one must have been incredibly difficult. I don't know how I would be able to handle something as severe as that. And I would imagine I would be asking God in agony, why me? Why him? A doctor said that the chances of contracting the unusual super-aging disease was one in 4 million. With a child whose body is aging 10 times as fast as it should be, time must feel so short with a son I feel like they will only begin to get to know.

Imagine living 1/10 or less of the life you have been given. At my current age, I would most likely have already died years ago. Limit yourself to one dream -- one thing you really want and can't live without achieving, and work towards it. Disregard the goals of marriage, dying of old age, retirement, a career, college. Could it be that these things only burden our minds and add the already heavy weight of stresses put upon us throughout life? It seems like every time a cure is found for one disease to help extend our time on this earth, another pops up that we didn't know about.

Progeria is incurable. Maybe in some ways, that provides relief and solace, knowing that it wasn't anyone's fault, and there was nothing anyone could do. The hourglass is going to run out a lot quicker than usual -- and we talk about 5 years or 10 years like it was nothing. For this boy, it's a lifetime. And so I pray that he continues to soak up as many experiences he can while he still lives. Thankfully he seems to still have the carefree mind of a child, and yet he carries a profound understanding of things and a comfortable acknowledgment of his situation. It's just so impressive.

In all honesty, I can't find the right words to complete all of the thoughts that flooded my mind when I watched the video. But I hope that you'll take the opportunity to just listen to his story, and then take another moment to just be thankful for all that you, and we for that matter have.

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