The Story of Brianna Gilbert

College, Death, Facing Our Futures Beyond High School from Ohio Northern University (Ada, Ohio), Students

The Story of Brianna Gilbert as Told By Joshua Shelton

“Live life for the moment because everything else is uncertain!”-Louis Tomlinson

When I first met Brianna, she seemed to be full of stories. She was a person, who to me, was given a lot of challenges in her life. Brianna had to fight one challenge after another, and this is her story.

I grew up in Wilmington, which is a lot different than Ada. We had a lot more to do there, and it was also much bigger than the Ada area. While living in Wilmington, I had many influences, but my whole family has had a huge impact on me, and my grandmother has had the most.

I lived with her and she provided so much for me in my life. I’m really grateful for her. I really didn’t have a father figure in my life, and I believe that has shaped me into the person I am today. With her by my side I thought that there was no bad left in the world. She pretty much raised me because of the lack of a father in my life. The lack of a father was hard, but I taught myself to do a lot on my own without much help. I learned through trial and error, but my grandmother helped in the aspect of my life because she was always the one to teach me the harder lessons that only someone with experience could. My grandmother has done so much for me, and she had a major influence on me deciding to enroll at Ohio Northern University. She helped me decide my career path and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

College is difficult but I will attack it and I will try my hardest to pass everything I take while at ONU. I am currently a freshman in college and I have so much to look forward to so, I am more motivated than ever to finish and have a happy life in the future. My family is amazing, and I love every single one of them so much because they push me to do my best and to achieve great things in this world. Everyone in my family has a great deal of influence on me and what I do.

My grandmother has helped me throughout my life and I couldn’t be more thankful for what she has done for me. She has provided for me and has given me valuable lessons that I use in my everyday life. When I lived with her was a time where I grew up a lot and learned what it took to be an adult in today’s society and how to function on my own with her by my side. She helped me understand what it takes to succeed and be a great person and also to help others when they are in need. She gave me values and morals to live by for the rest of my life. I loved the time we spent together while I lived with her and I enjoy the moments we have shared till this day. I will hold the memories that we shared together forever and I have plans on sharing them in the future.

She wasn’t only my grandmother but also a role model, parental figure, friend, and father figure. She is one of the most important people in my life and I glad I’ve gotten to spend so much time with her. She made all of the bad go away, but it seemed that life wasn’t on our side. My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. That news seemed to put a huge weight on my shoulders, and it turned my life upside down.  Cancer is a terrible disease that takes a lot out a person, but also a lot from the people around them who support them throughout their battle with it. It also takes so much effort to keep the person with cancer living a normal life while also helping them live a better life than what they would without treatment available to help them.

My family and I tried our hardest to provide her with anything she needed. We were always there for her and that seemed to make a difference in her battle against cancer. Cancer is very devastating and is one of the worst things to experience, but with the support of others it can become easier to deal with during treatments and other things needed to help combat what they are going through. My grandmother had a bunch of people to support her through everything and every step she took. She had a huge support system, and I loved how we came together as a family to be one. One of the most difficult times that I’ve faced in my life so far was when she went through this. Her diagnosis was a shock, and at first I didn’t want to believe it to be true, but it’s real. But it’s something thing I will have to fight with.

The thought of losing a loved one is horrible and I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. It’s like having a major part of you ripped out and taken from you and never given back. I will support my grandmother as much as I can and I will take every moment to appreciate her as a person and as a grandmother. Her having cancer has changed the way I view certain things, but I won’t change how I approach life and the struggles I will go through. My grandmother’s cancer diagnosis isn’t fair, but so many others are going through the same thing and they don’t deserve to deal with so much pain and suffering while also having their family in as much pain as I am. Life takes what it wants and doesn’t look back, so I’m going to cherish the moments I have with everyone because someday they will be gone and it will hurt.

Sometimes life isn’t fair because it flips everything upside down while also hurting the people you love, but I will continue to push through and to try and succeed in my studies here while also trying to help my family through this tough time period that has had an effect on everyone. My adult life is just getting started, and I’m excited for what the future holds. I’m ready to continue my life with no regrets. I am enjoying my time at ONU because it’s a beautiful place with great people. I am ready to embrace these next four years and to become something that my family would love to see. I am determined to make my grandmother proud of who she help raise and shape during my time living with her. I currently am striving to be a physician assistant. but I have a long road ahead of me with many challenges such as tests, which I’m not very good at, but I’m working on it, and many other obstacles in the way, but I will work my hardest to make sure I am doing what I want to in the future.

Life without my loved ones is a very hard thing to adjust to because they’re a major portion of everybody’s life and it will take time, but people can do it, everyone will overcome it. I can do it just like everyone who has been in this situation before.

This story originally appeared in Facing Our Futures Beyond High School, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.

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