This is my first letter to you. I hope it will not be the last. For the past 2 years, I have been with you though none knows why I have you. Unlike others who have you, my birth was normal. According to my mom everything was fine until when I was nine months old that my parents were informed that I had cerebral palsy. I doubt my parents knew about you before then. Their reaction after the news is the subject of another letter maybe. All I know is that their routine changed. They had to reorganize their time in order to accommodate me and my needs, especially therapy. The therapy improved our relation with each other. Even though I was taken to school on someone’s back, I was determined to walk. I ruled over you when I walked. I thank God because being able to walk was, to me, a major victory over you.
Cerebral Palsy, I knew I had you, even though I never quite understood who you were when I was young. I realized I had you from having a hard time walking, through difficulties in my speech, to the number of times I went for therapy that was often accompanied by pain. As for the eyes that would stare at me as I bounced my legs, and the number of schools I visited in search for admissions, as well as the extra care, support and love from everyone everywhere, they did not go unnoticed.
As I grew older, I understood I was different but I would not to let you make me miserable. I was determined instead to take advantage of you to reach my fullest potential. Oh, speaking about taking advantage, I remember of a time when I took advantage of you and the whole class escaped punishment. Cerebral palsy this is what happened, we were found making noise and because I knew I wasn’t going to be punished I volunteered myself to be punished instead of the whole class. That’s how the whole class escaped punishment. By the way, did I mention that I cried until the teacher forgave the whole class? You never imagined I would be Hollywood material, did you? I was surprised with my superior acting skills too.
I have never questioned why I have you even though sometimes you push me to the point of giving up. Sometimes you take advantage of small wounds to make me not go anywhere. You make me not go to school for years because of a simple sickness. For that canceled date because I couldn’t make it alone. Those pains come and the doctor doesn’t seem to know why or even the cure for it.
I have you and will never question why I have you. Sometimes I wonder where I would be if I didn’t have you, then I get an answer “nowhere”. Yes it’s not been easy for me but every step, pain and tear has been worth the struggle. You have made me who I am today and even if I were given a chance to choose another life, believe it or not, I would choose a life with you. You have taught me that the sky brightens up in the morning no matter how dark the night might have been. You have made me believe what the Bible tells me- not to worry about tomorrow and the need to take one step at a time. You’ve given me the best laughter, made my mum skip bus-stop lines just because she was with me. Above all I am stronger because of you. You have made me appreciate all people, see all people as equal and special in their own way. You have made me be more patient by having to repeat some words to people. You have made me be very careful while choosing my friends and ignore those who tell me what I can’t do yet I know I can. You have made me choose what to listen to and retain, and what to listen and let go.
For instance, when I could not explain how that glass of water poured, I thank you for making me strong enough to answer in a calm way. Moreover, because of you, I have chosen to view those who stare at me as I walk as an audience that enjoys my unique bounce, a thing that cannot be copied by anyone else. I am proud of my bounce. I consider it my bounce around the world. I will forever be thankful to God for letting me have cerebral palsy. Because of you, I am who I am. I hope I can write to you soon to encourage someone with cerebral palsy.