The summer after my sophomore year in high school I went on a family vacation to Maui. I had heard so many wonderful stories about Hawaii that I had no doubt my vacation would be just as memorable. My family spent hours packing for the trip and we could hardly contain our excitement. We arrived at the airport, checked our bags, and boarded the plane. I was sitting next to my younger brother, Griffin, on the first flight, but I could tell that he wasn’t acting normal. I kept trying to figure out what was the matter, but he said everything was fine. When we landed in California to catch our connecting flight, my brother kept asking for ice water and fruit. A thirteen year old boy asking for absurd amounts of water and fruit? Something was definitely wrong. My parents began to get alarmed and started watching his every move.
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As we boarded the next flight, which would be five hours, my family’s excitement had died down. We knew that something was wrong with my brother and didn’t want anything to happen while we were on the flight. Once we took off my family began to relax. Throughout the flight, however, we realized that Griffin had to use the bathroom about three times every hour. We thought it might have been because of all the water he drank at the airport, but we weren’t convinced. Eventually, we landed in Maui and were determined to have a great vacation!
When I looked out the window the first morning, the view took my breath away. It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. My family quickly grabbed breakfast, put on our swimsuits and hurried down to the beach. The second my feet hit the sand, I knew this vacation was going to change my life. The relaxing sound of the waves, happy faces of the people around us, and the sand between my toes made me forget everything back at home. Little did I know, my family’s lives would be changed forever that night.
While I was lying next to my mom at the beach, my brother came up from the ocean. Now my brother has always been a very skinny child, but as he was walking towards us, he looked like a skeleton. You could see the outline of every bone in his body and his head was out of proportion. My mom was afraid something terrible was wrong. She kept asking him if he felt okay, and each time he would say that he was fine. Eventually, she decided to call a doctor.
After dinner that night, much to my brothers disapproval, my parents took Griffin to the emergency room. He was skinnier than ever, drinking too much liquid, and using the bathroom frequently. I sat in the waiting room praying that everything was going to be okay. After two hours, they emerged from the backroom. As a thirteen year old, Griffin had been diagnosed with Type One Diabetes. Not only would this change his life forever, it would change the lifestyle of my whole family.
A few days later my family went to the top of a volcano, to see the sunrise. We had all been sad about my brothers diagnosis and we needed a little inspiration. As I sat there and watched the sun appear above the clouds, I know Griffin would be okay. I learned that sometimes life doesn’t always go as planned, but eventually the sun will rise on a better day.
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