It takes one look at Sherrin to change everything

Most people that know me know that know that I have worked very hard to get into American University. I transferred there from East Carolina University last semester so that I could pursue a degree in international relations. I was planning on transferring to AU over a year ago, before Sherrin’s accident. When the accident happened, I wanted to quit school and focus on Sherrin. I thought that it would be selfish of me to keep going to school when my sister could not. My parents told me that I had to finish school since I only had two years left and then I could do whatever I wanted with my life.

Now, I am happy that I stayed in school and transferred to AU. However, sometimes I feel like I’m wasting my time studying international relations. Obviously I love my major, I love my classes, and I love the program that I’m in, but when it comes to being practical, sometimes I feel like I should just become a nurse to take care of Sherrin.

Realistically, my parents can’t take care of her forever.  It takes a lot of strength to lift Sherrin, feed her, change her diapers, etc. After taking care of her for one day, I get exhausted, and I’m 21 and in very good shape. I can only imagine what it’s like for my parents. My dad will be 60-years-old this year and my mom is slowly getting older as well. They do an amazing job taking care of her and they both are in wonderful health for their ages, but in 10 years they may not be able to do the physical demands that Sherrin’s care requires.

I am very hopeful that Sherrin will make a complete recovery within the next few years and I expect that she will. But I also know that there is chance that she’ll need assistance for the rest of her life. This means that I will have custody over Sherrin when my parents can’t take of her any longer. Obviously, I will gladly take the job. I would rather take care of her than a nurse or a stranger.

But sometimes when I think about the future I feel like I shouldn’t study international relations any longer and study nursing instead. My dream career would require me to move every few years and constantly travel. But if I’m going to take care of Sherrin, then I can’t do that. I feel like it would be easier for everyone if I became a nurse.

I normally shake off these thoughts and say to myself, “Sherrin is going to get better. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re going to have an amazing career in foreign policy and Sherrin will be able to take care of herself one day,” and I continue in my major. But when I take one look at Sherrin staring at me with her puppy eyes, I want to throw everything I have worked so hard for out the window and take care of her.

My plan for now is to just finish my IR degree, then see what the future holds. If Sherrin needs me, then that is my priority, and I will gladly stop what I’m doing and take care of her. That’s what you do for your family; you make sure that they’re okay before you do anything else.

I just want her to get better.

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2 Responses to It takes one look at Sherrin to change everything

  1. I am also a younger sibling overseeing the care of my 72 year old brother who suffered a TBI when he was 16. However, he recovered more fully than Sherrin. I was only 5 years old when it happened, so I have spent my entire life worried about him. I am almost 60 years old now, but spending time with Bill always brings me joy. I can relate to your anxiety and please know that you are in my prayers still. (I am a friend of your Aunt Kathy)

  2. Kelly Coleman says:

    Hello, my name is Kelly Coleman. I came across your blog today, and I’m speechless. You are such a great sister; and your sis is amazingly strong. I can’t help but have tears rolling down my face. My sister was in a terrible car accident 36 days ago. She suffered a severe TBI (DAI) and has not fully waken up yet. She opens her eyes sometimes but hasn’t really showed any signs of knowing what is going on around her. She moves sometimes, but other than that nothing. We were told her chances of waking up were slim. However I will never give up on my sister. My heart is with you, as you went through the same thing I am. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, to sit and watch my sister suffer. I feel helpless. But then I come across your blog, and my world starts spinning again. It gives me hope for the future. Although your sister isn’t where she used to be I truly believe one day by the grace of GOD she will be. When this first happened to my sister I prayed too GOD and asked him to give me my sister back 100%, bc giving her back to me half way would never be enough. I still selfishly ask him for this. I pray that one day my sister will get to your sisters level. I wish you the best, and always remember the LORD can do what medicine can not. Maybe one day luck won’t have anything to do with it. Xoxo

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