My name is ________ and I work in an orphanage in Brooklyn New York. No, I'm not an orphan but my family runs an orphanage. Along with my parents, my grandparents also help out around the place. While we did get some funding from the government we also tried to raise money ourselves.
My mother and grandpa and mom worked in an empty lot right next to the orphanage. Mom opened a food stall selling sweets to the local people. The street we lived on was a busy street so there was always a couple people passing by mom's stand. Plus her sweets were really good so there wasn't a day where she didn't make a profit.
As for my grandpa, he was more of a traditional medicine physician. He would open a small tent where he would give people simple household remedies to cure colds fevers and other things. While some might think that he was just a con man trying to make a buck I knew he wasn't. Most of what he makes goes to the orphanage whenever a child gets sick, and it works I've used them from time to time as well. A lot of residents in the surrounding area also know about grandpa and the true effects of his medicine so grandpa's always busy when flu season rolls by.
Then while mom and grandpa work outside of the orphanage my grandma, dad, and I work inside. Dad was the orphanage's caretaker and manager. In the morning's dad would make breakfast, in the afternoons he would watch over the kids, and at night before dinner, he would go into his office to look through paperwork and things like that.
Grandma also worked in the orphanage working on the housework that dad couldn't do during the day. She washed everyone's laundry, went out for groceries, cleaned here and there, and even watered grandpa's herb garden. If I were to give my grandma my honest opinion it would be that she was superwoman. Besides her usual chores, she also helped either mom, dad, or grandpa whenever she had time.
And last but not least there was me, I was what you'd call a calm kid. I never tried caused any trouble for my family, nor was I a spoiled kid. In my early years in life I was a normal kid, but when I turned five I started to be curious about a lot of things. To be more exact I was curious about the things my family did, I looked up to them they worked so hard yet they never once complained about their work. When I asked why they did what they did the answer that I got was that they liked what they did.
Grandpa always liked the use of traditional medicine when he was little so he pursued that path and loved it, Grandma liked to be relied on, and didn't mind doing housework she felt it was better than being in a stressful office job. My mom had a huge sweet tooth and one day wanted to make some when she could afford them from the store so she made her own and liked it. And as for dad, he was originally an orphan and the orphanage we live in today was the same one he grew up in. He always wanted to give back to the place that raised him so when he was in high school he studied a lot on finance and child care so that one day he could take over the orphanage when the previous owner couldn't.
Listening to their stories I was fascinated determination to live the lives they wanted. Eventually, I, being the little five-year-old I was curious about their work and wanted to try it out as well. For the next three years after that, I learned a lot of thing from my family.
At the age of five, I learned to take care of plants, and wash clothes from my grandma, and basic baking skills from my mother. At the age of six, I followed my father around seeing how he took care of the orphan kids and later became a big brother like figure to most of them even if I was younger than some. Then at the seven, I learned how to make basic cold medicines and other types of medicines of the same grade from grandpa.
From the ages five to seven I was constantly moving around learning different skills from each of my family members. This learning however never intervened with my studies, since I always tried my best with those as well. By the time I was eight I took my role as a big brother like figure very seriously even though I didn't have to and thus lead to me being more mature than others my age. Life was peaceful and everything was going fine, but one day on my eighth year of life I meet with an accident.
One day when I was walking home from school I heard a loud scream coming from a park near our home. The scream sounded like one of the kids at the orphanage and I began to worry thinking they got hurt. Sprinting to see what was wrong I entered the park and found three of the kids from the orphanage on top of a set of dome-shaped monkey bars. Trying to climb the bars was a big dog and it was trying to bite the kids. One of the kids already has a small gash mark on his shoulder.
Seeing this I froze since I've never experienced something like this before. In my fright, I dropped my backpack that rested on my left shoulder and it caused a small thumping sound. It was small but it was enough for the dog to hear because it turned my ways and instantly made a run for me.
Instinct took over my body and I also made a run for it, but even if I ran the dog was faster than me. When I felt it getting closer I foolishly turned my head around and saw the dog biting my right arm. The next thing I knew I was on the floor struggling to get away. With a hard kick to the stomach, the dog let my arm go but then it bites my left leg as I tried to crawl away again.
Unlike the bite on my arm which was shallow, the bite on my leg was deep and a lot of blood came out of the wound, but I continued to struggle. Using my arms, and remaining leg I repeatedly hit the dog but the dog continued to sink its teeth in my leg.
Eventually, I started to get dizzy due to the loss of blood, but before I could lose consciousness I heard a dog's yelp. When I tried to look at what happened I saw my dad holding a bat in his hand, my mom who showed up right behind me cradled me in her arms. That was the last thing I saw before I lost consciousness.
I woke up two days later and found myself in a hospital. From the report given to my parents by the doctor my arm would return to normal after it heals nothing too bad happened there, the problem though was my leg. The place where the dog bit me was close to my knee, and the damage there was major, and even if it heals it'll never be the same. Chances were I wouldn't be able to use it in the future.
This news broke me inside and I wanted to cry but no tears left my eyes. Eventually, three months passed and my leg could be said to have healed. I could walk but I couldn't put much pressure on my leg so my walking speed decreased significantly. I later found out that the reason those kids were in the park that day was that one of the kids was getting adopted but his friends didn't want him to go. One of them later decided to sneak out so they could make some lasting memories before the kid left.
Their plan was successful but, not long after the entered the park the encountered the dog and due to fright climbed on top of monkey bars to get away from it. I came not long after and I already knew the rest after that. It turns out that the dog suffered from abuse from its owner which caused it to have some hatred towards people. From what I overheard from the talk my parents and the doctors, the owner of the dog died of a heart attack and the dog escaped from its cage and eventually wandered the streets. The fate of that dog was that my dad beat it to death with a bat. Ironic isn't it, it was mistreated by humans, and ended up dying by the hands of a human.
When the kids involved in the incident came to visit me in the hospital the apologized to me with tears in their eyes. Looking at them I wanted to reprimand them for the trouble they caused but in the end, didn't because I knew nobody can control fate and I just happened to be the unlucky one in this situation. Besides I knew my dad must have given them an earful earlier.
One year passed and I became nine and living with a damaged foot was taxing on my mental strength since having to focus on the amount of pressure I put on my foot while walking drained me fast. It was tiring but I never stopped trying to find a way to deal with this issue. To cope with my injury I took up both tai chi and yoga.
Both of them helped me with my balance and control over my body so the strain I felt in my body was gone after a year of practice. After that one year, I could walk significantly better but I still had to make sure I didn't strain myself too much. Thus the amount of physical work I did decrease a lot but my interest in other things grew.
Besides my daily tai chi, and yoga sessions I also tried to learn how to use instruments to play music, as well as read literature spanning from fiction to poetic reads. From the ages nine to fourteen I practiced my music skills and learned to play the guitar, piano, and flute. With those skills, I performed a small concert in the orphanage on Fridays reenacting popular songs online. But those small concerts weren't all I did I also worked part-time in a nearby cafe as a pianist to make some money.
Time went on, and over the years I've seen kids come and go through the orphanage's gates. Many of them saw me as their big brother or a friend and some would even stop by every once in a while to play with their old friends or help out around the place. Due to everything that had happened I developed a laid back personality while also focusing on the tasks assigned to me. But sadly all good things come to an end.
Around the time of my fifteenth year of birth, the left side of my body started to fail me. After getting this checked out we found out that it was a type of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. At the moment I was only losing the ability to use my left arm and leg but eventually, I would start to lose the ability to use other parts of my body.
Once again fate had given me a bad hand, and obviously, I was sad but amyotrophic lateral sclerosis wasn't something that could be cured. Enduring the grief in my heart I tried to continue my life normally but in the end, tried to lose myself into the world of books.
Two years passed after that and my condition got worse, upon further diagnostic we learned that the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis I had was a type of variant and was progressing faster than it should be. By the end of my fifteenth year of life my left leg and arm became useless, and by the end of my sixteenth year of life, my right side was also gone, and I was admitted into the hospital where they would look after me.
Months went by and I was close to turning eighteen but unfortunately, I didn't think I'd make it to then. I felt that the organs in my body slowly begin to slow down and rarely work. Even the acts of breathing or moving my eyes took more effort than they did a month ago. Everyone knew this and I would always have someone with me in my hospital room at all times.
Sometimes it would be my mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, some of the orphans, or even the little brother or sisters that already found themselves a new family. It was then on the night right before my birthday that everything in me began to shut down.
Seeing this the hospital contacted my family and within an hour everyone I knew ranging from my family, the orphan kids, old friends from school, and old acquaintances from the neighborhood came to the hospital I was staying at to see me in my last moments.
The sight of this brought tears to my eyes, and I truly felt I was blessed to know everyone here. If there was only one regret I had it would be that I have to go before them. Seeing my tears cause my mother to also cry, saying how much she loved me and how happy she was to have had me. Soon after everyone around started to speak about me and the things I did in life:
How I was like a brother to them.
How I was always a cheerful and hardworking kid.
How I was always there to help when I when I was needed.
How I never let my disability define who I was.
The list went on and all I could do was look at all of them trying to convey the words Thank You with my eyes. And as I finished surveying the room I felt my heart stop. Following that, I felt my consciousness slowly fade as I set my sights on the wall clock. The last thing I would ever see in life was the clock showing the time 12:00:01.
??? - [Looks like I made it to being eighteen]
And with that, my life had ended.
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