Monday, July 4, 2011
Sometimes bad things happen to good people, but why does such a bad thing have to happen to such a good person? Less than twenty-four hours before my cousin Gates was to be sent on an LDS mission, he broke his neck in a snowboarding accident. He is now paralyzed from the chest down. Gates has been in the hospital for over three months, and he has already made great progress. He can use his left hand to a great extent, and is starting to be able to use his right hand as well. His neck brace has been removed and he can stand his head up without any support. We are all hoping that Gates can progress each and every day, and he has not let us down yet. He has his hard times, but Gates is the most determined kid I know. This past Saturday, my family and I went up to Bountiful to help run a booth for Gates in a fourth of July carnival. We had great success and Gates even got to come down from the hospital to make an appearance. Gates is probably the most well-liked kid I have ever met. After the carnival, we continued on to Gates's home and had a barbecue to celebrate the fourth of July, and most importantly, Gates's birthday. Gates will be turning twenty years old! Happy Birthday Gates! After the barbecue, we all sat out on the porch to watch the fireworks from the carnival. Gates got to lay down on the grass that night. People who are apart of horrible accidents can all relate to one another. Some of the outcomes are a little more extreme, but they all suck nonetheless. My Aunt, Gates's mom, said the other day, "Lots of people break their necks, why does this have to be so bad?" Heavenly Father gives us certain challenges in life to test our faith and to see how we progress from then on, and sometimes he gives us these obstacles to make a difference in the lives of others. Everything happens for a reason. Keeping Heavenly Father close to us is the only way we can maintain a positive outlook to the bad things that happen to us. This earthly body is only temporary, and "temporary" may be a very long time for some people. For Gates. All we can do is pray and continue to love and support those in need. Gates has already made a difference in the lives of hundreds and I know that he will continue doing that for a very long time. Gates is still the most hilarious, positive, and amazing person I know. And nothing can change that. I love you Gates.