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My Sister; Lessons She Has Taught Me Growing Up

My Sister

“Sisters are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly”


My Inspiration

My younger sister Osmara was born with Bilateral Microtia, a congenital deformity where the external ear is underdeveloped. Unfortunately, it had affected both ears. At birth, my parents were told that due to the severity of Osmara’s condition, she wouldn’t be able to hear, walk, or talk. Of course, this was devastating for my parents. How could this be? They refused to accept this as my sister’s reality and took action. The next few years of her life consisted of therapy, special-ed classes, and numerous hospital visits.

I can proudly share that my parents’ hard work and effort, along with Osmara’s willingness to keep moving forward, was all worth it. She walked and talked, perhaps a bit later than most kids, and was also able to hear with the assistance of a hearing aid. All these were enormous victories….she defied the odds. Was it easy? Absolutely not! It was all possible due to the many sleepless nights, long and exhausting trips to doctor’s appointments hours away, and most importantly, my parents’ and sister’s dedication and determination to excel in life.

Self-Confidence Is My Sister’s Best Outfit

“The girl wore her scars the way some women wore their finest jewelry.”

-Sarah J. Maas

Growing up was not easy for my sister. She would do her best to cover up her ears and hearing aid in order to not draw any attention to herself. All she wanted was to be “normal” (But really, who are we to say what normal is, right?). Just like most girls, she wanted the cute up-dos and earrings, something that seemed impossible.

Once my sister was old enough, she underwent multiple surgeries in an attempt to reconstruct her ears by using rib cartilage. These procedures left her with significant scarring throughout her body. The recovery time was lengthy and painful, but she finally had the ears she longed for.

While at first it took a while to embrace the scars from all her surgeries, today Osmara wears them with confidence and pride. They are a reminder of what life has given her; strength, determination and courage. Her scars don’t bother her, she is not ashamed of them, they are a part of her. Scars are part of being human.

As the fashionista that she is, she truly wears her scars as her best accessory.

Never Give Up, Be Determined

Growing up with a disability was challenging for my sister. From time to time, kids would make fun of her ears, her voice, who she was. They were cruel and all I wanted to do was beat them up. I mean, why would they do that? Who did they think they were? But my sister was better than that, she ignored them.

Everything she had gone through was only to prepare her for something greater in life. God and the Universe have maneuvered and redirected her onto beautiful paths. Sure, at times it may be difficult to understand why certain things happen, but they all serve a purpose.

Being told she would never hear, walk or talk, to one day being able to walk across the stage to receive her College Degree, was such an exciting and emotional moment. Osmara has never given up and she has decided that her ability to excel in life is stronger than her disability.

Life Is A Gift

What I love the most about my sister, is the way she lives her life to the fullest. I know, it sounds so cliche right? But that is the truth. Her life isn’t perfect, it’s filled with countless imperfect moments, but she always chooses to see life for what it is; a gift.

Although wearing a hearing aid can be very uncomfortable and troublesome, she finds a way to look at the bright side of things. She has shared with me that the beauty of having a hearing aid is having the choice of turning off the noise when she’s had too much of this world. What a gift, the gift of perspective.

While she has endured many challenges throughout her life, my sister has learned to grow from every experience. She embraces each struggle, setback, and disappointment as part of her unique journey. She was given this life to live it with love, hope, and faith.

I am grateful for the amazing woman I get to call my sister. The woman who inspires me and many others and leaves this world better simply because she exists.

To my sister Osmara; Everything I am, You helped me BE! Thank you!

My Sister, My Friend

Betzy Valdez

Betzy Valdez originally from Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico, came to the United States with her family 22 years ago, chasing the well-known “American Dream”. Greeley, Colorado is where her and her family have resided over the past 22 years and it’s a place, she calls home. She has been married for 11 years to her supportive husband Javi and together they have three beautiful little girls and an American Bully named Bella. She is also the founder of B. Empowered, a space created to encourage others to be the change, to be empowered to be the world-changers, the difference-makers, the heart-changers. Through Betzy’s own journey, she continues to be brave by sharing her story, her truths, her mess. Instead of allowing setbacks in her life to hold her back, she is determined to use her mess as her message of hope, strength and belonging. Her calling in life in to encourage and empower others in their own journey, regardless of color, race, religion, or legal status. She believes we must all have a vision, not division. Betzy plans to continue her journey as an empowerment and motivational speaker as well as an active community volunteer, leader and advocate for immigrant and refugee rights. She is extremely excited for this new opportunity and hopes to connect with others.

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