Kristen Schweizer Final Reflection Paper Kristen Schweizer lotting paper

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					                                                                                   Kristen Schweizer


                                     Final Reflection Paper (III)

        I have learned a lot of things about myself through this experience. I have learned that

my life may seem hard and stressful, but it is nothing compared to the lives of the children at the

Ronald McDonald House. I mentioned this in my previous papers, but I still think about it all the

time. I can at least go to school, find a job, feed myself, and have some form of independence.

These children are battling for their lives and I am upset that I got a C on an exam. Yeah, my life

really must be horrible! I see this little girl in a wheelchair every time I go to the house. She

comes down to eat supper around 4:30 and finishes around 6:00 if she is lucky. It takes her

forever to eat and someone has to feed her. She is 14 years old and should be quite capable to

feed herself, but a brain tumor took that ability away from her. It is the simple things that I know

I take for granted. I never would have thought the ability to feed myself was a privilege. I am so

happy that I am able to live a “normal” life.

        I value life a lot more than I used to. I see hope in these children. Like I said, not like the

kind of hope where I hope that I do ok on my chemistry test, or hope I will pass that class. The

kind of hope these children have is the kind that says, “I hope I have enough strength to keep

living.” I thought my life was hard, but obviously it is nothing compared to the struggle these

children face every waking moment, hour, and minute. I feel that I owe these children

something. I was lucky enough to live a wonderful life and they might never get that

opportunity. The least I can do is show them that I realize I am lucky. If I can give them some

joy to brighten their day, I am sure it would mean the world to them. These children didn’t ask

to be born with a whole in their heart, a dysfunctional kidney, or a tumor. They never got a

chance to see how life is, they had to jump right into a life of constant struggle and that is all they

know.
                                                                                  Kristen Schweizer


       From this experience I have realized just how lucky I am to have such a stressful life.

No, really, I might complain that I have to study and write a paper but some of these children

wish for my life every day. They would love to be sitting in a classroom taking a test, talking to

friends, and just living an enjoyable stressful life! I struggle to memorize materials for my tests;

they might struggle to tell their brain to put one foot before the other. Some children have to

think so hard just to hold a crayon, to say “mom”, or even move a finger. It hurts to see them

upset because they can’t accomplish the things that come so easily to me. It is like I want to give

them some of my strength just so they don’t have to get upset. But, I can’t and they know that,

but that doesn’t stop them from trying again and again. The funny thing is the strength they have

to endure and keep trying is stronger than all my strengths put together. Ironically it is them who

should be giving me strength. I don’t ever want to hear the words, “My mommy can’t hold my

baby brother because he has a hole in his heart,” again. But, those words remind that whatever I

may be upset about is nothing. I could say I am tired of studying, but they can say they are tired

of struggling!

       In classes I learn to be independent and rely on myself. I am taught that I am responsible

for my self. I know that my problems are and never will be worse than someone else’s problems.

So, the next time I get upset because my life is overwhelming, all I have to do it think about the

child who is struggling to pick up their crayon, or make a motion. I don’t know how they can

pull a smile, but when they do all you can do is smile too. I learned to never take things for

granted but, after seeing some of these children, just pictures, I will never take things for granted

again. Every step I take is a step that some child somewhere is taking 30 minutes to take. Every

breath I take is a breath that some child somewhere is relying on a machine to give them. I want
                                                                               Kristen Schweizer


to give something back. They want a life like mine and I want to try to give that to them even if

it takes all the energy I have left.

				
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