My Sister María

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Our value does not come from our capacities

My sister María is twelve years old, has Down syndrom and is one of the greatest things that has happened to me in my life. She has a greater capacity of anyone for understanding and having fun. Its not because she is a very apt person, on the contrary, she doesn’t even know how to do multiplication. Its because she continuously reminds me of my value, because she’s constantly reminding me about the reason of things. And she doesn’t do it giving me a great discourse with many logical and convincing arguments, but rather that she reminds me by living, as she is.

My sister María will always be behind everyone in intellectual capacity, she is not capable of doing an equation, of reading a thousand page book or of playing volleyball, she never will be.

This reminds me that a person is not worth what he can do, because then she would be worth very little, and I already said its not that way

This reminds me that a person is not worth what he can do, because then she would be worth very little, and I already said its not that way. She has understood many things that I will never understand. For example, three years ago my uncle died. It happened all of a sudden. I was with a friend on the beach and when I came back he was already dead. We didn’t say anything to María, but as is expected she asked about him. My cousin explained to her that he was in heaven, with Jesus. She thought for a moment and said: “ah,” and that’s it. She didn’t ask anymore. In that moement I realized that she understood much more than me, that she didn’t need anyone to explain anything more to her, for her it was totally clear. He was in heaven, period. And its not that she wasn’t aware of it, because she would keep responding that he is with Jesus and there’s no reason to cry.

She lives relaxed, without hurry, never overwhelmed by anything. I am the complete opposite of her, I become nervous, shout, cry, become desperate, I get emotional with things that aren’t important, forgetting what it really is. But when this happens to me, I look to her, because she never forgets what is important. For example, a few days ago I was overwhelmed studying because I didn’t give myself time to finish a work, and all of a sudden I remembered what María had told me: to go and see her to bed. María told me to do this every day since I stopped sleeping with her. Sometimes I go and sometimes I don’t. It was two in the morning, she was sleeping. It was only looking at her to understand many things. To begin with, she was not studying and was happy. In that moment I thought, “but how stupid, Elena, if she is and will be always incapable of doing the work that you are doing, and instead she is happy! Sleep calmly.” She, how she is, sleeping, made me understand that I was not made only to study, without reason, that it couldn’t be, that happiness had to give you another thing. However, when I don’t want to study I go and say to María: “I have to study,” and she always answers me: “well study sister.” Then I go away content, because she told me to do it. When I can’t do it anymore she tells me: “don’t study,” and that’s it. She tells me this with an assurance, a simplicity and an awareness of what she says: that I do it. The truth is that reading what I wrote, it could seem like I’m crazy, but its not that way. I trust in my sister for how she looks at me. Few people have looked at me like she does, without judging me at all. María always hugs me, regardless that I had yelled at her three seconds before. She hugs me with a patience and a love like nobody does. One day, I was arguing a lot with my brother, and I cried a lot, such that you become overwhelmed and you can’t breath, so I went to see María and she hugged me, she gave me a kiss and said: “sister, I love you” and that’s it, she didn’t ask me anything.

María is my daily provocation and that is how she has turned into my authority.

For text in Spanish: http://www.colegionewman.org/v_portal/informacion/informacionver.asp?cod=473&te=667&idage=806&vap=0

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