I started every morning in Anjo Gabriel, with Cielo, a four year old girl with hydra cephalus. Cielo would come with her aunt. Julie and I would perform therapy on Cielo, while Cielo’s aunt sat there and cheered Cielo providing her the emotional support that Cielo needed! I found Cielo’s aunt to be very kind and humble. She would ask me every day what I ate, where I went, etc. Basically she wanted to know about my experience in Peru. She would also suggest things to make my experience in Peru more memorable! We communicated in Spanglish – some Spanish some English and the rest was the Dictionary to our rescue! What I soon found out was that her four year old son also came to this school! And He was Autistic!
Her son, Piero, doesn’t talk at all but he would be loud when he would become restless and cry from time to time. On the first day I met him, he kept pinching me because I would stop him from mis-behaving :). I went through that day enduring his pinches but reciprocating back with love. From the next day, he not only stopped pinching me, but he would run towards me and hug me every time he saw me! I miss him 😦 !
One day Piero’s mother wrote a letter addressed to Piero. This went on the bulletin board in the lobby of the school. It was in Spanish so Julie translated it, the best she could, to me. And the little that I understood, it touched my heart. I took a photo of that letter and tried to find some one who could best translate it. Thank you Conchi for translating this letter! Below is the letter and its translation.
Translation in English provided by Conchi:
To my son Piero,
My wishes of big things for you were very big when you were born.
I thought about happy moments, what you would do first in your cradle, the happy boy of the classes, your university studies and your desire to become challenge yourself.
One day in September, you were diagnosed with autism, something I did not know about that killed all my dreams. One day changed all. Since then I survive for you, you are my reason for being alive and I accept you the day you are.
I learned how to play with you in your noisy silence.
I learned how to smile with your indifference.
I learned how to talk to you without having an answer.
I learned to look at you with sweetness while you have that sad look.
I learned how to tell you to do things while you scream.
I learned to make an effort with your slow effort
I learned how to cry madly when you could not understand and hurt yourself.
I learned how to live being alone because you did not want to socialize.
I learned how to find autism, to be able to understand you, at least a little bit.
I learned to wait to the time, because one day you will connect with me, and just one day we will live immensely happy, and I will show you my world, the one you do not want to come to. But there will be an alternative world in which we will be both be very happy, and we may have managed to defeat autism.
I will always support your rights, because you will always be with your parents with the people that love you and put you into value and that they include you in their society.