A Major Transformation in my Life

Tell us an anecdote about yourself that made a profound difference in your life. (create your own question - common app)

How can some children let complete strangers take care of their aging parents?

Even at their advanced age, my grandparents join us every evening in prayer and stand by our stove stirring in their special blend of spices for our family dinner. Back when my parents were abroad when I was five, it was my grandparents who were by my hospital bedside sleeping upright in a wooden chair for 72 hours while I recovered from a fever. My grandparents have
lived around the corner my whole life, allowing me to see them everyday after school.

Raised in a culture where elders reside with their family, I couldn’t grasp the idea of a nursing home. And so, I volunteered at Margaret Tietz Nursing Home in high school. On the 4th floor, I came across Annette, sadness clouding her face, as she sat alone in a corner. Many other wheelchair-bound residents gathered in a circle chatting. “Good afternoon,” I said, smiling. Annette lowered her head, avoiding my gaze. I shrugged it off. Maybe she was having a bad day?

Days later, Annette again was alone. I asked a nurse why Annette distanced herself. She informed me of Annette’s diagnosis: cystic fibrosis and depression. Should I speak with someone unwilling to interact with anyone? My heart beat...

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