I want to honor the mothers of children with disabilities in Peru –
. . . the mother whose daughter with severe cerebral palsy is 12 years old, cannot walk and talk, and has never had a wheelchair. This family took us shopping. The mother went in the store with us while the father waited with their daughter.
. . . the grandmother raising her abandoned grandson with severe multidisabilities. She also cares for her invalid husband. She’s just one of several grandmothers we’ve met who are raising their abandoned grandchildren.
. . . the mothers of children with seizure disorders who cannot afford their medication.
. . . the mother of the little boy with autism, holding his hand as we walk to the shoe store, hoping he won’t run away, hoping he’ll sit still to try on shoes.
. . . the mother of the child who just turned 20, who will receive no adult services because the family cannot pay.
. . . the mother of the 4-year-old who received a new wheelchair. The school director tells us, “You’d cry if you could see where he lives.”
These mothers are our heroes. They welcome us, often into their homes, talk with us, tell us pieces of their stories. They laugh, cry, and dance. They bring their children to school, walking mostly, because there are no school buses. The school is their place of hope, their place of friendship, their place of understanding. The love in their eyes is as bright as their children’s smiles. Their faith in God carries them through difficult days.
We listen, learn, grow from their courage, their wisdom. We give what we can – climbing equipment; shoes; money for medication; sometimes, not often enough, a wheelchair; toothbrushes; leg braces; a bicycle. Then we go home. But their words stay with us, their faces, their fears, their dreams.
These mothers are our heroes. Happy Mother’s Day, 2018, to the mothers of children with disabilities in Peru.