My little sister, Emma (yes my sister and girlfriend share the same name) turned 16 yesterday. And while I could make this a mushy post about how beautiful she is, how awesome, how much I appreciate her, all that boring stuff that’ll make you say “awww” I’m not. I’m going to talk about Abortion.
Both of my sisters have a disease. It’s not a disease like Bill Jones has (his disease is called winning). Its a disease called Pseudoachondroplasia . This is a form of dwarfism, and, while having dwarfism is usually accompanied with a lot of complications, my sisters were lucky. They can walk, they aren’t deformed, their voices sound normal, and their proportions are all normal. They look exactly like a normal sized human being, only very, very short.
Anyway, enough background. Emma has always been…dramatic…and it came as no shock to any of us that she got a lead in her school musical: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. She was cast as the queen and, in my opinion, was the best part of the show. (I might be biased though). It was pretty awesome to see my sister sing up on stage like that, but something happened to me that night.
At the end of the show, when the cast and crew came out to bow, we all stood up and clapped. And right there, in the dark, watching my sister take her bows with this huge smile on her face, I realized something.
There are people in this world who would have aborted my sister, people who, if they found out that Emma had dwarfism, they would have killed my sister before she was born. That realization broke my heart a little that night. HOW could people justify that, killing someone because they deem their “quality of life” won’t be as good as the rest of us?
At first I was angry, then, no more than a half second later, I was immensely proud.
In that moment, I realized that my sister has done things that I can’t even fathom doing. Despite three surgeries, two of which required her to be in full leg casts for 6 months, one that required titanium be wielded to her spine, she STILL got a LEAD in her high school play, STILL was the only person in her entire chorus to sing a solo at the christmas recital. Despite all of this, she makes her own jewelry, she sings like Cassadee Pope, she bakes, trains dogs, and does pretty much everything a normal person can do. In that moment I realized, just a little, how awesome my sisters are. Everything they do is twice as hard as it would be for us. I have to admit, I had to hold back tears as my sister took her bows on the stage that night.
So happy birthday, little sister. Keep being an inspiration for everyone that you know, keep loving, follow your heart, don’t let people bring you down because, you know what? They’re just people. They don’t know a thing about being you. Also don’t date boys. Sarah’s boyfriend and I are friends now but before I was still deciding if I needed to buy a shotgun for intimidation purposes.
And Sarah, don’t think I’ve forgotten you. You’ve excelled more in your public speaking than I ever will in my running. You made it to nationals and placed 3rd (didn’t you?). I’ll be lucky if I even make it to the Conference Championships in my running, let alone nationals. I’m so proud of both of you.
So, happy birthday, Emma. Go eat your cake.