My little sister April had the most amazing determination, best attitude, and the strongest will of anyone I have ever known. And – she was 100% full of FUN!!
April never liked to admit, let alone talk about her disability and I find it strange and hard to talk about now. Yet my inner soul is begging to share her story, her life, her example, her love for life and how she has impacted and continues to impact who I am. So, I begin the journey of sharing parts of her life and how she lived with no regrets.
As a child, I never imaged that my only sister and best friend would lose the ability to walk and would require the assistance of wheels most of her life. We ran together, climbed out our bedroom window and played on our roof, rode bikes, ran up and down the hill near our house, swam in the creek, and caught frogs in meadow streams.
There are so many experiences I could share that give insight to who April really was but the time she “drove” Mom and Dad’s brand new Ford pick up truck is one of my favorite. Dad had taken April and one of my brothers with him to work – one of the joys of ranching.
When Dad stopped to open a gate, in perfect April fashion, she told our younger brother to get on the floor and run the pedals and she would do the driving. I am sure she had that twinkle in her eye that she would get when she had a brilliant idea. The look she got when she decided she was going to do something, the one that no one else could EVER convince her to do otherwise. Well she drove alright, right into the fence post and putting not just a few scratches in the new truck but a major dent and crushing the head light. Not your typical 7 year old!!
April was fearless. She didn’t make excuses for herself or anyone else. She didn’t let her muscular dystrophy define, confine, or determine who she was. She embraced her life and blessed everyone around her with joy, laughter, and happiness.
Before my beautiful sister passed away, she and I talked about sharing her story and the impact she has had on my life. I pray that her example will continue to inspire, influence, and motivate others to find joy and happiness no matter what their circumstances.