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What was the most difficult aspect of my close relationship with Johnny, were the crippling effects that his disease had on his body. Johnny had once been overweight for his age but had now dwindled down to a mere 55 pounds. He needed to be carried to bed each night and it was so hard to see what had become of his tiny body. The zenith of my understanding of Johnny and his pain came one night when I was working until midnight and was the only worker in the facility of eight residents. I was finishing up my paperwork while having the television on in the background.

At about 11pm, while finishing up my paperwork, I heard somebody crying. I turned the television off and spent the next minute trying to find out where it was coming from. It was difficult to pinpoint the direction because the cry was so very faint. But I quickly realized that it was coming from Johnny’s room. I knew that he was in pain but when I looked into his tiny face, it seemed to convey a message to me that he had an understanding of his situation which surpassed his charted IQ.

He was crying in his own special way and looked to me to try to alleviate his emotional and physical pain. It was the most profound moment in my life and I felt honored that I was the only person that he depended upon. “Johnny, what’s wrong? ” I said “Nobody loves me. I waited all day and my parents never called or came to see me. ” “I know Johnny. ”[They had not called him for half of his life so promising that they would call or visit would only raise false hope and increase the next disappointment. ] “Everybody here loves you and wants to be your new family.

” I said. “But I want to go home. I want to see my parents. ” Johnny said. “I know Johnny. ” I said. I did not have the heart to tell him that the courts had cut off visiting rights due to the many episodes of abuse while Johnny was living at home. “Johnny, do you want to stay up tonight with me until I have to go home? ” I said “Can I? But it’s a school night. ” Johnny said “I know but just this one and only for an hour. And I’ll make you some ice cream and put on your Three Stooges tape and we can watch it together. ” I said.

We then sat up and watched television and seemed to laugh constantly for the next hour. I had my arm around him and it was as if father and son were enjoying the show together. It was a couple of years ago and I have come to know many other special yet troubled children staying at the group home but this boy and this night will has created a permanent memory within me and is a fond one to remember. He was smart enough to realize that his parents had cast him off when he was only four and had not made a single attempt to contact him.

Johnny also seemed to alienate himself with every other person who tried to help him in one way or another and for one reason or another. It was hard to explain why and I would be able to be the one to tell Johnny that his parents didn’t seem to care about him and that when he would get beat, it wasn’t his fault and that he was in a better situation living in the group home. Even if an explanation would be of some use to him, (but I doubt it) there was no desire to, partly because Johnny was always too busy getting in trouble, hurting others or hurting himself.

I was the only person in his short lifetime that was willing to sift through his mental and physical impediments in order to uncover the loving, caring and incredibly adorable little man that was hiding under many disabilities. He realized this and rewarded me by letting me join the very exclusive club of people in his life that he let in.

SUMMARY IDEAS The idea for this essay comes from personal experience. The relation between Johnny and myself was an important factor and an important bond was created.

The personal growth by the both of us at the same time and our own personal interaction which had not been seen before in either of us was an important aspect of why we bonded so closely. It was also one of the rare times that I had a direct impact upon a child’s life and it seems that we have become different people after meeting and befriending each other. Also, the fact that I have kept a journal for the past few years and this story was recorded for me to always remember, is another way that this story has remained so relevant and fresh in my memory.

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