By Alisha, age 22, Massachusetts
Sometimes people come into our lives and you know right away that they are meant to be there. They serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or help you figure out who you are.
Everyone needs at least one person in his or her life who inspires them to dream big and go for what they want. Whether parents, grandparents, siblings, other relatives or friends, everyone has an inspirational person or role model. It can be one person or a multiple of people who inspire you. I know that for me, it's not just my parents or other family members; it's my friends who inspire me in so many ways that sometimes I don't even notice. I have found that without certain people in my life I wouldn't be where I am today.
My parents have always been there for me through everything. They pushed me to do my best, and even when I failed they still loved me and knew that I had the potential to do just what I wanted to do if I just put my mind to it. They have always taught me that if I don't try something myself, then I won't learn how to do it in years to come.
For example, this past winter, the last semester of college before graduation, I was a commuter. I was driving through the snow, and though most of the time I was a nervous wreck when it came time to go to class, I did it, and my parents only had to drive me to school a few times. The days when no one was home and both my parents were working I had to drive myself. I would call my mom crying because I was too scared to drive in the snow, but she told me that I could do it. And you know what? I survived the winter and managed to learn how to trust myself.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
Just like my parents, my grandparents wanted nothing but the best for me, whatever that was. They have been like guardian angels through this point of my life. They have always pushed me to do my best, and just like my parents, knew that I could succeed at anything if I just put my mind to it. My grandfather especially has inspired me and shown me that no matter what life has thrown at you or how bad a shape your body might be in, if you just keep going, everything will be okay.
My grandfather has weak legs and knees, making it hard for him to do daily things, especially when it comes to climbing stairs. He has shown me that although it is hard for him to do such a thing, he is willing to give it a try. With weak legs and knees, it makes him work hard to get from one place to another. The New England winter season was the toughest for him, making him scared to even leave his house to just simply go to church on Sunday mornings. Now that they are in Florida he has more mobility in his legs and knees and doesn't have to deal with the long winters anymore.
Albert Einstein once said, "Life is like a bicycle ... to keep your balance ... you must keep moving."
Although I've only known him for three short years, my life changed when he entered it. Tim is a Hodgkin's survivor and FMX rider, and such a great friend. At the young age of 19, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and the doctors told him and his family that he had only a few days to live. His family didn't give up on him and tried to find a cure. They believed that he would survive this disease, and he did. Now, in 2011, at the age of 36, he is still alive and going strong, and is still riding dirt bikes in different parts of the U.S., as well as other countries.
It was a struggle and a battle that he had to go through, but he didn't have to go through it alone. He had his parents, his brother, and other family and friends praying for him and there by his side, just hoping it would be alright in the end. They all believed in the doctors that were working with him and had faith they could help make him better. Now, 17 years later, he has been cured from Hodgkin's and is living life to the fullest. He has been an inspiration to me and my life for the past three years and will always be an inspiration to me.
I am glad that I am healthy and not sick with some type of disease like Hodgkin's, but I am also glad that Tim was able to overcome the disease and live to see the next day, week, month, and even year. To watch him go to different places and do what he loves to do (ride dirt bikes) makes a pretty big impression on me and on whomever he comes in contact with. He is a very positive guy and loves his family and friends with his whole heart.