Our main email system in school is being re-decorated, so to speak. Not wanting to lose everything in my mailbox, I opened everything in it and re-sent the same to my new addy. I was amused about an article I wrote for a friend. Actually, it was Zharro, my friend, who asked me to write this for our former co-teacher. I'm putting it here now for safekeeping. Here goes:
Shane did not care about the sumptuous buffet dinner being enjoyed in her honor that peaceful night of July 21, 2003. As a matter of fact, she was unaware of the reason for such gathering. Shane had no idea that Virgie, her mom, had gone to the trouble of inviting all these happy people to celebrate her thirteenth birthday.
The little girl ignored the fact that it was done at posh Bellevue Hotel. The girl didn’t care that the guests were impressed with her hair, which had been styled by a famous and expensive hairstylist. Nor did she take cognizance of the fact that she looked beautiful in her new dress. Most of all, she couldn’t care less that what really caught everybody’s attention was the absence of her usual blank stare. Oh, yes, that familiar stoic stare and detached smile that she usually displayed when she was among strangers.
All Shane knew was that she was deliriously happy because she was with her mother and the rest of the family and close friends. Puberty was knocking on her door and she shined like a princess entertaining guests who rendered homage to their next queen. That night, nobody seemed to notice that Shane was autistic.
We can only admire and marvel at how parents of autistic children, like Virgie, can live through the hassles and bustles of everyday life with that extra burden on their shoulder. Taking care of a normal child is in itself a tedious, sometimes nerve wracking, round-the-clock job. People who have normal children, can only wonder, what it must be like to have to take care of a physically or mentally challenged child. How do they teach them to survive in this hostile world? How do they make them happy?
Simply by showeing them with lots of love and understanding. She was special all right, but not because she is different from everyone else. She is special because she can make people smile with her “little” achievements. She can amaze you with her song and dance numbers. She can melt your heart with her seldom, yet very precious, unrehearsed greetings and words of kindness. She can soften even the hardest of hearts with her genuine laughter. She can make you appreciate life more because she
represents eternal innocence and joy.
The heartache and emotional tests the family faced when they first found out about Shane’s condition were understandable because like everyone else, the family was not well-informed. Through time though they realized that God has chosen them for a reason. Not all families may be able to deal with a young lady as unique as Shane. God indeed does not give a cross one can not bear. He knew that because Virgie had an available source of tremendous support from Mom Bernandina and Dad Merolo, blessing her with a daughter is the greatest gift Virgie will ever receive in her life.
As most families would have viewed it, Shane could be, at times, difficult. However, the challenges they had to face as a family was well worth it. God, in His infinite wisdom, endlessly show them the way to happiness. A lot of times, they do not recognize the signs for He works in very strange ways. Not only did He send His only Son to die on the cross to free the world from sin, but He sends angels like Shane to show the way.
Whoever thought of the politically-correct term “special” for people like Shane is wise for we can not think of any other word that best describes her.
So looking back at this wonderful young lady dancing and laughing, one realizes that she did not need an expensive party in her honor to be happy. Shane has no need for empty praises and promises. She does not need sympathy or apathy and has no use for self-pity. All Shane wants and needs is a warm embrace, acceptance, love, and
understanding. What she needs is to be left alone to be herself in her own world, innocent but perfect for her needs. Respect her private space and she's happy.
Shane and her ilk is God sent. Virgie is one lucky mother, for her job on earth, is not just taking care of an ordinary child, but that of taking care of an angel.