So hello again, my son. It’s been a while since I’ve written my first letter to you. Until now, I still have no idea when will you be able to read it. Hell, I don’t even know whether you’ll be able to read it at all someday. But I prefer to live in a belief. A belief that someday you will overcome your developmental challenges and live this life like a man.
You see ? In some ways, that’s what’s hard about these handicaps we have ( Let’s call it for what it is, – handicap. For me, it’s called HIV. For you, it is autism ). The difficulty lies not in the struggle to stay healthy, – or your trials to master any social skill. Instead, the hardest thing is how to do it courageously. About how to stare all those fears we have in the eye, and do it anyway.
This was made more difficult because we have no one to teach such courage to us. I mean, who do we know what’s it like to have HIV or autism ? Who can tell us honestly that they understand such fears as deep as going to sleep at night, – without knowing whether you will wake up at all in the morning ? Who can comprehend that for you, loud sounds are as excruciating as needle stabs to your eardrums ? I have to admit, Son; that I myself only got the idea of what you’ve been going through when I read that book. Even then, all I got is some ideas. I cannot begin to pretend that I totally understand it, because I don’t.
Am I beginning to sound frustrating ? Please forgive me. Far be it from me to discourage you in any ways. On the contrary, I write this short letter to let you know that I will always be here for you. That no matter how great is the task we have in living this life, I’ll be there to hold your hands. Health permitting, I may also be able to carry you from time to time when the road gets too bumpy for you. Alternatively, I may need to stand by the sidewalk, and dress your wounds when you hurt yourself tripping on some wayward stones.
If we can learn to do that, my son, then maybe we can make all of this worthwhile. If we can learn not only when to hold each other, when to wipe our tears, but also when to carry on walking wounded. When to uphold each other when the going gets tough, but also when to hold back your desire to help, – as painful as it may feel -, and watch someone you love to trip and hurt himself. By now I hope you get the idea that it’s not important how many time you fall down. What matters is how many times you get up again.
If we can learn to do all of those, and still being there for each other until the end, then I feel we then can live this life of ours like men. Until then, let’s embrace our tears when we need to, but please never forget to enjoy the scenery you see along the journey. The grass is always green, the sun always shines, and we know someone up there is watching us in this lonesome journey.