When Graduation Gets Canceled

By Laura King Edwards

If things were different, we’d be celebrating my sister’s high school graduation next week.

I’ve thought a lot about how Taylor’s life would look if she hadn’t been born with Batten disease. I’ve tried to hold onto the days when she taught herself to read before all of her classmates and earned straight As in school and memorized all of the words to her favorite songs. I’ve listened to her voice in my head, because I can’t hear it in real life anymore.

I’ve struggled watching Taylor’s friends get college acceptance letters and dates for the prom and plans for the future. As happy as I am for them, I’m angry that Batten disease robbed my sister of all of those things. If she hadn’t gotten sick, what would she have done? Would she have played a sport? Been in a rock band? Volunteered at our church?

I look at old photos of Taylor – the ones where she still sees the camera – and I try to picture how she’d look today if Batten disease hadn’t stolen her eyes and legs.

But I try not to dwell on what Taylor could have been. Instead, I try to remember all that she is.

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