How Can a Spirit become…Broken? : Confluential Subjects
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How Can a Spirit become…Broken?

by Posted Author on 04/13/13

By G. F. Smith

04/13/13  

The other day I read that the new Pope’s primary focus—at least for now, apparently—will be in support of the poor and the down-trodden. I’m not catholic, but I congratulate this man’s efforts. And, on the side, I am sincerely impressed and moved by this man’s modesty: his belief in simple, ascetic lifestyles, and his humility—he reportedly opens his own doors, and carries his own luggage. Way to go, Sir!

Now a question:  Poor, we understand, but…what exactly does “Downtrodden” mean again?

Most dictionary definitions read like this: Downtrodden: “…to be browbeaten, subjugated, oppressed, demoralized, exploited…broken.”

“Downtrodden” means that we become so exhausted from trying to deal with some sort of oppression—internally, or externally—that we just can’t take it anymore, and as a result, we often break. We’ve all been to that edge on occasion I suppose, to one degree or another. Yet, some live on that edge.

And that’s where the Spirit can become…Broken.

Life is full of FIGHT! We fight, and then we fight some more. Then we do it again the next day. We fight gravity, hunger, fear, fatigue; we fight anger, stupidity, decay…disease; we fight to breathe, to mate, to stay mobile, to climb the latter of success in a multitude of areas; we fight to try to be right…and not be wrong. We literally fight everyday.

Ever wonder why? Why the constant fight? Why is life so inundated with struggle, and resistance, and opposition?

I know what you’re thinking…”what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” (Was I right?)

Well, that’s okay, when thinking of yourself, but what about when it means enduring having to watch your children fight? That’s an all together different perspective, isn’t it?

Recently, I’ve met some great people who struggle in their family with a harrowing disease call Osteogenisis Imperfecta (OI, for short). It’s also known as “brittle bone” disease. You’re born with it, and there’s no cure. Imagine a miscalculated twist, or an occasional bump, or even just a cough or a sneeze, and crack—a bone breaks.

Now, imagine watching your children… breaking, before your very eyes!

Following is a quote from someone who knows what it’s like:

“In addition to fractures people with OI often have muscle weakness, hearing loss, fatigue, joint laxity, curved bones, scoliosis, blue sclera (white of the eyes), brittle teeth and short stature. OI is caused by an error called a mutation on a gene that affects the body's production of the collagen found in bones and other tissues. It is not caused by too little calcium or poor nutrition. 

I have had somewhere around two hundred fractures during my lifetime so far, and I am still fracturing. I've also had approximately 20 surgeries to correct fractures, straighten the curved bones, and procedures they call rodding. This is where they place rods in the long bones to help strengthen the bone and prevent displacement from a break. I was blessed with my son, Jayden, in June of 2011, who has also been diagnosed with OI, he has currently had three known fractures including a tibia fracture, spine fracture and a spiral fracture to his femur.

I am not coordinating this walk because of my sufferings, I am raising awareness for my son, he is my motivation to make a change in this world for those with OI. I want a better life for my son, just as any parent would, and that change can start with your help. Please give as much as you can! Will you also spread the word and help us generate a turnout for this walk-n-wheel event that will make a difference? 

I truly appreciate your time, consideration and generosity!”

                           ~ Jennifer Roberts, 2013 Columbus, IN - OI Event Coordinator


“A Change in This World…for my son…”

I was really touched by this. Most of my kids have had broken bones on occasion, playground stuff, sports injuries, etc. My son Josh was hit by a car in a terrible accident around the age of seven. Fortunately, he only ended up with a broken wrist, a concussion, and some lacerations. It took every ounce of faith my wife and I had to get through those times. I can’t imagine living with the daily fears and consequences of having something like OI…especially when it comes to young children.

I’m inspired by Jennifer Roberts. I see in her an “unbroken spirit”. One who, through knowledge and understanding, along with a healthy measure of faith, has chosen to take control over her situation—difficult and frightful as it may be—staring it in the face with sheer defiance, certitude, and conviction, to not only survive it all, but to help others with it along the way.

We all should be so bold!

Way to go, Jennifer Roberts!

We all see and experience tragedy. We all have to endure our own particular fights—some worse than others, no doubt. The key—and this is where Jennifer and the OI Foundation truly inspires me—is retaining that “unbroken spirit” which, again, not only helps us live with our particular tragedies, but gives us the courage and conviction to stand up together, and…keep fighting.

You can get more information about OI, as well as contact information about the 2013 “Unbreakable Spirit” Walk for OI: Hope, IN at the following link:

http://www.oif.org/site/TR?fr_id=1641&pg=entry

 

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