Tonight I know my CF is a gift. Because of my CF I have met wonderful people - my CF Family here in town. We were all gathered tonight for our group meeting - and there were so many of us there it was wonderful!!!
I know my CF is a gift because if I didn't have CF I wouldn't have met my wonderful CF family or my social worker Damien, who if basically Obi Won. I'm so excited to work closely with him this summer and learn from him. Working with him will be so much more than earning a degree in social work. It will add to my degree in LIFE.
And that's what I have. A degree in Life.
After tonight's meeting I called my parents and put them both on the line. Dad was worried when I first asked to speak to both of them at the same time, and I said, "Don't worry, nothing is wrong. I just want to talk to you both."
And I thanked them. I see the other CF people who have to work themselves basically to death just to get by - and they have to make decisions on whether or not to cut back on their hours at work and they have to go through so much. I know that when I made my decision to quit college it was basically forced on me because I knew how terribly I was failing. And my health was failing because of it.
I thanked my parents because they have allowed me to live on my own and have the freedom I want. They have allowed me to live in the town I love near the friends I love and the dancing I'm addicted to. I live two hours away from my parents, but they still come down to help me when I need it.
I am so grateful for my parents. Not everyone can afford to give their children opportunities like my parents have given me, and I know that. I know they could have forced me to live with them where I would have been unhappy. I have no idea what I would have done if I lived with them because it's not the life I wanted.
Dropping out of college wasn't the life I wanted, either, but if I could go back, I might drop out sooner. No, I probably wouldn't change anything because I learned a lot from it all. All my experiences - especially my CF have made me the strong, outspoken person I am, and I wouldn't trade that for the world.
I know my mom and I don't always get along, but she is one of the best people in my life. Even when she's mad at me, if I really need her I know she'll be there. She's usually only mad because she worries about me all the time. She worries about me when she can't see me everyday, and that's why I call her everyday. That, and because her voice is reassuring to me.
My parents are probably the best parents a CF kid could have. They have done everything to give me everything and I am grateful.
My mom told me on the phone that the other day she was complaining to my dad about her ankle and how much she is suffering with it, and she said, "I don't know how Carla does it. She suffers with things everyday."
And it made me cry even harder then I already was, because I want my mom to know that this isn't so bad. My whole life isn't suffering. I have days when I'm frustrated, or days when I'm in a lot of pain. And there are the days when breathing is especially hard, but then I just start IVs, do what I have to do and I get better.
It's my life, and maybe I'm just used to it, but it's not so much suffering. It's much more fun and laughter and smiles than suffering. And it's all because of my parents that my life is like that. Without my parents it wouldn't be more smiles than suffering.
I love you Mom and Dad. Thank you.
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