(Reposting again from FB, for future references. Came across an initiative for a school for special needs children in Taiping and am reminded of this memory and flash of perspective.)
My grandaunt and my younger brother. The oldest and (one of) the youngest in my family to meet again.
It was bittersweet to visit again — on one hand, heartbreaking to see the strong and resilient grandaunt I know, caged in by old age but on the other hand, a blessing, in that 9 months later I can still see her and hold her hand. What was most beautiful was seeing my brother speak to her effortlessly. More often than not, I’m tongue tied in front of the sick and the struggling. Because what could I say or offer. Half the time I don’t know what the right thing to say is. My brother on the other hand, in his forever childlike innocence, never hesitated in speaking excitedly to her, holding her hand, making her laugh, although she can’t articulate words anymore.
Two people who the world would deem as useless — each caged in their own way, old age, learning disabilities. In that moment of laughter and abandon, I can’t possibly believe that statement.
Some may say my brother’s condition is a curse, but really to me, I’ve always believed it’s a blessing. He reminds me, and everyone around him, what innocence looks like. What childlike wonder feels like again.
And for that I am thankful.