When you were born, Marios, you were a robust, wonderful yet premature baby with “some findings” as the doctor said on the brain tissue. “He is going to need some physiotherapies” continued the doctor. “Just like an athlete!” thought I.
You were so beautiful, quiet, smiling. You had my mother’s hands and your father’s lovely eyes. My wonderful baby! And I adored you (and still do). I never realised you were going to be “different”, or special. A boy wth “special skills”. The doctors never explained it to me. I understood as time went by comparing you to your simblings.
In the beginning I thought you were ill. I started asking around and searching for treatments. Until I realised that there was nothing wrong with you. You just were different compared to other people. Two years old and you couldn’t walk on your own so I started trying to help you learn how to walk. You were autistic. And could not handle your hands well. In Greece there are very few schools for children such as you, my son. The few that exist are private and very expensive. I did whatever possible. Still, poor countries such as ours have no or little ifrastructure for the less fortunate. I could not move about in Athens with you. It’s an unfriendly city for people with kinetic issues. So we moved to a more rural area.
Yet people are the same everywhere. This little town had a lot of space to move around but the pity in the eyes of the people was quite harsh. And there was this old neighbour who every time I went out with you to practise walking, she kept asking me what had I done wrong in my life and god was punishing me.Remember her? It was you who led me away from her pulling my hand to keep on walking by the sea. It was you who taught me that the most valuable things in life are not “things” at all. It is more important to throw pebbles in the sea than visit old relatives bacause you ‘have to’. You taught me how to love and that happiness has nothing to do with modern mobile phones, gadgets and such. You never asked for anything just a simple hug or a smile were enough and you felt more than content. Observing you your simblings learnt what is most important in life and that a family is there to support and stand by and accept and help.
As the years go by I see that you, Marios is the pillar of my family. You bond us and guide us by your example. We never give up. We keep walking however difficult it may be. Although our life is very different to other peoples’, we go on. We are together and do our best and we feel strong . Because there is nothing better than togetherness. And the most important in life is to cherish the love that has been asigned to you.
And that is how you, Marios, has changed my life!