A Look Inside Me
If you do not know me yet or are not currently following me, it doesn't mean you have to leave. Rather, you should stay, read and learn who I am and what I am about. Then we can become friends and share each others' works and learn more about each other.
I am currently 25 years old and single at the moment. Anyone looking? Just kidding :) I recently graduated from Baptist Bible College with a degree in Youth Ministry and am now attempting to pay off my loans working the overnight shift at Nichols Village Hotel in Clarks Summit, PA.
I was born and raised in Ellington, CT, you know that small state that no one has a clue about! Do you know where Massachusetts or Rhode Island are? Are you still clueless? Ok, I guess the best thing to do here is to pull out a detailed map. Once you done that, proceed to look for the two smallest states and pick one! You have a 50/50% chance now!
I have a younger sister named Katie who is an exceptional couponer; in fact some people would refer to her as a professional! I also have a twin brother named Jon who is 24 years old. Now wait a second some of you are asking: How is that possible? I thought you just said you had a twin brother? Just cool your jets and relax; again I am only teasing! I was blessed to be raised by an incredible mom and dad, and if you do not believe me read this tribute I wrote to my father. They have loved me unconditionally and have taught me, by their lives first and foremost, to love and honor Christ in everything I do. For this, I am incredibly grateful. I could not of asked, hoped, or imagined beyond my wildest dreams(and I have been known to have some wild ones) for better parents than my mom and dad.
This is where I grew up!
Yes, be very jealous. I grew up on a lake! You should swing by some time! Our house is very small, but you can tent outside if you want to :)
Let's Get Down to Business
I have entitled this hub "A Look Inside Me". Before sharing more about my personal life, I wanted to share with you the inspiration for writing my story. If you are not familiar with billybuc here on HubPages, let me just pause and say that you are definitely missing out! I have been on HubPages for almost two weeks now, so in comparison to many of you veterans out there, I am a newbie hubber. Billy has taken me under his wing, if you will, and has helped me get started on this wonderful journey of hubbing. The other day, I was reading an incredible hub of his that has become very popular: The Human Experience: Taking A Life. Upon reading this hub, I was very touched and honored to be following such a loving and tenderhearted man who is able to reflect upon his life and share with deep emotion. So, we began talking back and forth, and I promised him I would publish a hub about my personal life; something that has framed me and made me who I am today. So, here goes; I hope I can touch someone out there and maybe inspire some fellow newbie hubbers as well.
Trials that Have Polished and Defined Me
Family's Financial Issue As far as I can remember(which is playing on the playground with my dad and brother at the ripe age of two), my family has endured financial hardship, one after the other. There has never been a time where one would say that we have been rich-by any stretch of the imagination. There have even been times when we have had to live week to week, hoping and praying that we could have food on the table. Fortunately, this did not happen too regularly, but there were definitely some hard times. After thinking about it, I guess you could say we have never had money falling out of our ears. I guess you could say that for the majority of the time, we were able to live "comfortable", (meaning getting by with what we had and enjoying it for what is was worth) but this is because of being an American. I am so blessed to live in this country! I take so much for advantage; after being in several foreign countries on missions trips, I can look back and say that we all should be proud, truly blessed to live in this country. Those countries have nothing compared to what we have! So yes, times were rough growing up, and still are to this day. But, it has been these hard times that have carved me into what I am today. If I had been born into an extremely wealthy family, do you think I would be as grateful and thankful for the little blessings that come my way? I know I would not be!
Family's Health Issues I want to start this section off by saying that my brother and myself have been fairly healthy our whole life. Besides a very few cases of the flu and some broken bones(I broke my left arm three times), we have been healthy, for which I am truly grateful!
So why I am writing about my family's health issues? Because of my sister, mother, and father.
Jim, my father If you have read my tribute to my dad, you will know that he has had health issues and has been unable to work for quite some time now. It has been so hard for me to watch this. What man wants to have his wife work full time because he can not do it myself? He has sometimes had it rough emotionally, because of this, and it has pained me every step of the way(I am becoming teary-eyed as I type) I love my father so much, and it cuts me deeply to see an honest working man unable to do the "manly thing", taking care of the family and providing for the "food on the table". Even with this ongoing trial, my dad has had a very positive outlook on life; this had been a tremendous encouragement to me!
Kathy, my mother My mom has also been sick a lot throughout my life. Several years ago(before I was born) she was diagnosed with diabetes. Since then, she has often battled with high blood pressure and other related symptoms. i can remember one time back in college where she was emergency-helicoptered in because something had triggered due to her diabetes(sorry for using wrong terminology, I do not want to call her and wake her up, she has to get up early tomorrow for work). This scared the living daylights out of my brother and myself! There we were living the "care-free" college life, while my mother was dying, at least we thought so at the time! Two years ago, she fell in the bathtub, again another symptom due to the diabetes. She was knocked unconscious, and remained so for a good three hours! You think we were scared at college the first time, imagine the second time! Unconscious for three hours! I will honestly tell you that was the longest three hours of my life, unless you count the SAT's, but still-not even a close second! Just a year ago, my mother was watching Lifetime(you know the television network for women with the sub-par actors and actresses) and out of the blue, became incoherent and starting mumbling random words that fit together kind of like a puzzle with only half the pieces. Again, my brother and I had to sit and pray; we were three hours away , in college, yet again. Miraculously, she made it through yet another time to tell about it. There have been several other instances as well, like the time she was hospitalized for over a month for other issues. But, that is a story for another time. On the top of all this, she is in desperate need of two knee replacements because one the aids she works with(she works at a nursing home as a LPN) failed to place the "wet-water caution" signs on the bathroom floor. But because of my mom's gracious love for everyone she meets, decided against taking her to court over it. So, yes, she needs two knee replacements, and we do not have the money to afford it. So, she just goes to work every day with a positive outlook and amazing attitude. How does she do this; I do no have the slightest clue! All I know is that I am truly grateful to call her my mother!
Katie, my sister This is the most heart-breaking story of them all. my sister is 21 years old and loves to babysit. She is excellent with kids(if you are from Ct, Julie DeNeen, your profile tells me you are from Clinton; she would love to babysit for you, hehe). Katie has a heart for everyone and just loves life; except for one major setback. She has the now-common disease known as celiac disease, so she can not eat anything with gluten, or wheat in it.(Would you believe me if I told you that the first ingredient in Twizzlers is wheat? Well it is!) So she can't eat anything with wheat; it can't be all that bad, can it? If that was the only problem, then no, it would not be too bad. The problem lies in the fact that she still has the symptoms of one with the disease if she were to eat wheat(she would refer to it as baby-sickness), when she does not eat wheat at all! She is constantly puking and other things that I will choose not to go into. This is so painful for me to have to watch! I hate seeing others go through pain; and when there is nothing I can do about it. Even the doctors do not have a clue of what is wrong with her. Now thankfully, I can say that she is not sick 100% of the time; but rather maybe 60% of the time. But even still, she is a loving person who should not have to undergo such painful and harsh treatment.
I love my sister, mom, and dad to death and hate to see them go through this pain and hurt!
My Reaction and Emotion to These Health Issues
So, how have I responded to all the health issues my family has had? Simple, why not me? Why do I get the luxury of being healthy while I get a front-seat-view of all their pain and hardship? I struggle to be happy sometimes in my own life, because I know that they are probably struggling to live sometimes! Why them, Why not me? Why must my dad not be able to work, why not me? Why must my mom have issues with diabetes and need two knee replacements, why not me? Why must my sister have mysterious symptoms, why not me?
What keeps me going is that I know God is watching over them every day; He is protecting them every step of the way! I must be strong for them! It is these issues and even others that I have not mentioned, that have framed me into what I am today. Made me strong, courageous, loving, compassionate, caring, humble, serving, and willful! These trials have molded me into the young man I am today!
I will try to culminate this message with this quote by Richard Nixon:
"Only if you've been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain." These "valleys" that my family has encountered are what makes the "mountaintop" experiences even more enjoyable. We have not had it all bad; that was not the idea of this story. We have had several awesome moments as a family; and we are truly grateful, thankful, and blessed to have shared them with each other!
Thank you very much to all of you who have stopped by to read this story. I really appreciate it; it means a lot to me. It took a while to process it in my head and I can but only hope that I was able to clearly convey the message I was attempting to get across. You all mean so much to me; and I can proudly say that I love HubPages because of it's wonderful community!