Reflective Essay My beeper goes off and Im called to the school office. Im told that Im supposed to be taken to St. Louis in a helicopter as fast as humanly possible. This was the day that would change my life forever.

.. and I didnt even know it.I was the only child in the Jr.

high that wore a beeper, some kids thought it was weird and some thought I was I lucky that I even got to wear a one. I didnt think I was so lucky, the reason I had happened to be wearing this pager was because my mother was dying. My mom had a rare disease that attacked her lungs, much like cigarettes deteriorate your lungs, but a hundred times worse. This disease was called Alpha-1 Antitripsin Diffisionsy.

I had never known my mother to not be so sick.Ever since then we have to stop every few feet in the mall so my mom can even catch her breath. This pager going off meant that my mother could have a chance to live long enough to see me grow up a little. For the next three years my family went through hell and back again, and Im about to tell you how that huge part of my life has made me who I am today. We arrived at St. louis Barnes Hospital early that afternoon.

When we go there they rushed my mom in for prepping, we got to say a short goodbye not knowing if we would see her again.The surgery lasted eight hours, eight hours that we knew basically nothing. That whole eight hours lasted forever, and sleeping on waiting room couches didnt help much. After the long awaited eight hours, we heard that she was in Intensive care and that we could relax a little now. Knowing that we got a Morgan 2 hotel room and stayed the night. Life after that night went so fast from then on.

In one single day I went form going to school with my friends to a helpless mom in a town I had never seen before, feeling all alone. The next day we got an apartment set up and school lined up so my sister and I wouldnt fall behind. My parents were all about keeping us in check with our education so we could grow up and make something of ourselves. Through out the next three years many great and horrible things happened.

My mom came out of the surgery in good pretty good shape, for the next three months, the only way I could see my mom was if I scrubbed up and put on rubber gloves so as not to infect my mom in any way.During those three years I didnt get to see much of my parents, they were always gone. They were either at the hospital or either at the hospital. It went from drastic change of being mommas boy to raising yourself in the slums of St.

louis by yourself in seventh grade. If you could think it, it went wrong in St.Louis. Some of the things you wouldn't even think off, for instance, There was a man shot in the head while driving his car just down the street from me.

The sad thing is that his family was watching on , and I will never get that picture out of my mind no matter how long I live. Death seemed to surround us down there. Only being around transplant patients didnt help much either.I met a boy a little younger than me at the time whom was waiting for a heart and lung transplant. His name was Dave, one of the quietest most nice guys you could ever meet. He would give everything up just to make someone else happy.

Well I knew dave for about a year and then he started to go down hill, slowly I noticed it was harder for him to go anywhere, he couldnt even stay past nine anymore. I woke up one day and went to school as normal, I knew dave was going in for check ups that day, but when I got home I found out that dave had passed away the night before in his Morgan3 sleep. They said his heart just was to small to keep his weak lungs going.They said he went without pain. I sure hope so. One other man that I was fortunate to meet was Carl.

Carl was a sixty year old high school biology teacher. Carl happened to be one of the funniest old men that I had ever met.He was tall and lanky, his wife on the other hand was over three hundred pounds and beast in the electronic wheelchair. Carl had gotten a heart transplant two years before but was back for some checkups and some minor complications that he had. Carl was there for about a month and he was on his last week of physical rehab.

that Thursday of that week Carl passed away of a heart attack while getting up to go to the bathroom that morning. I considered Carl another grandpa to me, we always had him and his wife over for dinner. Carl and his wife even took my sister and I to the Zoo one day. Though many horrible things happened in St.Louis, not much got better. The rest of our three years was spent staying at the hospital, going to school or just curled up in a ball.

It may not have been fun and it sure wasnt extravagant by any means. but in those three years I learned more than I ever will. Thinking through the way that I act now, I do believe that I have changed immensely, I grew up in a matter of days down there. I now know what I cant take for granted in what I see in people.

I cant take my life for granted either, because I lost so many dear friends and seen so much. I also have changed in being a lot more outgoing than I used to be, in St. Louis I lived for my own almost all the time, so in human nature, I had to become outgoing. It shows in what I have already done in my life.

I was Student Body President in my High School, my senior year.I was cross-country and Soccer Captain for two years and have made it to college on my own. And I am proud and would not have it any other way for myself. And so that is why I believe what has made me come this far and be who I am today in life.