During my commute home today, I met a young girl called Laura. She was no older than fifteen years of age; she had long medium-brown hair which was tied up neatly in a ponytail and she possessed the most positive attitude that I have ever seen. Her kindness shone through as she greeted each arriving passenger – both on and off the bus – by using her skills in sign language and by the assistance of her social worker.

Laura has physical and mental learning disabilities; she is required to have constant care (from family, friends and her social worker) and she must use her wheelchair. She needs to keep warm and comfortable; she seemed very cosy today in her fluffy coat and warm blankets which her social worker had placed around her.

Seeing Laura today actually broke my heart. At first, I felt angry towards God. I couldn’t understand why he would let an amazing girl, such as Laura, struggle in life. I asked myself, why am I able to stand tall, healthy and educated while Laura has to depend on her social worker in order to get around? Why are we not all the same? Why can’t there be nothing “bad” in the world? But then as I truly looked at Laura, I saw something that I have never seen in another soul before – not even in my closest friends, family or even myself! Laura had strength, power, fight and a general appreciation of life.

She was constantly laughing, smiling and she seemed so happy. She didn’t seem fazed about the restrictions and the differentiations around her – she just smiled. In fact, she was communicating with people on the bus by using sign language; she would make the letter ‘L’ with her fingers (symbolising her name) while also making other signs to represent the words ‘thank you’ and ‘friend’. Then she would laugh for a good ten minutes as her social worker kept pulling faces at her and I couldn’t help but laugh along too.

I have spent nearly two hours writing, editing, re-writing and uploading this short piece because I wanted you to read about a wonderful woman that exists within our world. I wanted to do justice for Laura; but most of all, I want you to realise that even though life might seem a little frumpy sometimes – it’s not over! You have so much to give because you are an amazing person who deserves to achieve everything you want in the world providing that you stay happy, positive and determined just like Laura.

Laura is my muse for this piece and for the rest of my life.

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