Thursday, March 13, 2008

Who Will Listen To Him?

Special children will not remain children forever.....

Who will listen to the heaven's special child?

Political parties and NGOs.

Manifestos and promises.

Individuals and organizations.

Doctors and conmen.

Economy and environment.

Corruption and retribution.

Money and inflation.

Lies and more lies.

Truths and half truths.

Friends and family.

Most people who know me are of the opinion that my number one concern in life is politics. They think I am angry over BN, UMNO, MCA, MIC and all. True enough, I am. I am angry out of love. Righteous anger is never wrong. This is the country where my brother will grow old in. He has Down Syndrome. It’s anything but fun and easy to have Down’s.

When I tell people that I have a brother with Down Syndrome, most folks will start talking about their distant cousin Down Under whose nephew’s son also has Down Syndrome. They’ll start yelping away about how cute and friendly and warm children with Down Syndrome can be. Once in a while, I’d also meet smart asses who tell me how I should encourage my brother to attend this special center somewhere and that I should not waste the great potential of any special child.

Out of manners, I’d usually nod in agreement, give a fake smile and make some general neutral remarks. Deep inside however, I honestly want to tell these well-meaning folks to zip up. I won’t however cos’ unlike Hishammudin Hussein, I have been well educated by my mother to refrain from telling people to shut up and get lost.

Special education in Malaysia is a shame. I can write on an on about the whys and the hows but no, this is not an academic or political piece. This is a web log, my special corner to rant to any listening ear out there. I believe each of us longs to be heard, which is probably why there are so many millions of blogs out there each giving its own opinion and viewpoint.

Special children want to be heard too, but will there be a listener? Somewhere out there, I am sure a child with Down Syndrome or cerebral palsy would have a blog. I’m sure I can google it and come out with something.

People feel that special children are special, possess special characteristics and have special needs.

Fair and well I say.

I will also add that special children are more alike than different. I know and I am sure because I grew up with one and walked with one for my entire life and will continue doing so until I die.

Hopes and dreams.

Plans and desires.

Wishful thinking and broken dreams.

Anger and temper.

Lust and guilt.

Pain and sorrow.

Grief and denial.

Imaginations and reality.

Cancer and heart disease.

Loneliness and boredom.

Questions and answers.

Wisdom and reasoning.

Nausea and vomiting.

Hunger and diarrhea.

Jokes and bluff.

Bubble baths and hot chocolate.

KFC and Pizza Hut.

Cataracts and leukemia.

Preferences and dislikes.

Moods and seasons.

Birthdays and funerals.

The list goes on. No one will understand how a young mother feels when she is told that her newborn is more than special. Not one who has not grown up walking with a special child of God.

We look at life and say it is unfair, they came into being bereft of a fighting chance. We complain about school because exams suck, they would do anything to get a chance to fail an exam. We slack at work and claim to be burnt out; they’d be more than glad to wait at your table. We can’t decide to migrate to US or Australia, they have no country that’ll accept them. We gripe over our limited wardrobe, some can’t even put on their own shirts. We give up trying to memorize the times table, they don’t even understand the meaning of giving up. We grumble cos we can’t have that Bali holiday, they’d be glad to just be given a chance to ride the town bus. We are overwhelmed from the many responsibilities we have to shoulder, special children will smile so sweetly if you entrust them with the most seemingly menial of tasks.

Special children will not remain children forever.

I once thought that the greatest challenge of having a brother with Down’s was during those childhood years. What tumultuous times those were.

I now realize that more is to come. We’re ready, come what may.

With love to my courageous and beloved Brother.


sojourner said...

hey POTS, just read this post, after being 'one of the smartass who asked if your brother went to special school' earlier today. now i really feel like an ass. sorry for being insenstitive. being sensitive isn't exactly my forte. and thanks for not asking me to shut up. anyway, your bro is very blessed to have you as a big bro.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry too for asking you to enroll your bro to special school. I apologize for being insensitive.