My world in his unspoken words

“I can’t believe he’s already one! He is growing up so fast. Wow!” Rumi says breathlessly and then glances at Dr.Thomas. “It’s a little concerning that he has not talked anything; even a single word!’

“Not to worry. Some babies talk late. Girls usually talk a little sooner than boys. So have a little patience!.” he say with a small smile, Rumi thinks she worries too much. She gets ready to leave the room, but at the door, she turns around. “ I wonder if his hearing is okay. Milo doesn’t seem to hear me. When I call his name, he doesn’t look at me.”Rumi pulls the chair and sits heavily. “ The other day I clapped my hands as loud as I could and he didn’t even turn his head. He just keeps sitting on the floor, looking out the glass doors at the leaves blowing around in the backyard. As if I didn’t exist.” So? She takes a deep breath and glances at doctor Thomas .

Dr. Thomas puts the pen down and opens his mouth to say something but then Rumi starts her other questions.   

“ I have seen him bouncing to the music, so he’s definitely not deaf. What a crazy thing to think. But Dr. what’s going on with my Milo? Please tell me that he’s fine..”

“He’s fine Rumi. Give him a little time. I will see you in a month.” Dr. Thomas gets ready to see his next patient.

At home after lunch, Rumi sits with Milo. “Say Juice. Juuuuice. Say I want juice or say swing. Look at me Milo.Tell me something. Why are you screaming?” Rumi asks and then carries Milo to the backyard. They sit on the deck and look at the sky, Milo’s favorite thing to do and now it is same with Rumi. She stares at the blue sky for a long time and feels as if she is the weightless sky, floating and free.  She is her son’s imagination and unspoken words. She turns her head and notices the happy face of her son.

Milo was a beautiful and bright-eyed boy. She loved him instantly. She dreamed of him a genius in math, best in sports, a wonderful debater like her father. But she should have had much simpler dreams. Each year Rumi lit the candles on cute Mickey mouse cakes, sometimes on Barney cake and sang “Happy Birthday.” Then her husband used to say,come on Milo! Make a wish and blow your candles! And then he wouldn’t, so they had to blow them out for him. She always makes a wish, the same every year. “Please say something, look around and enjoy your life.” She never stopped wishing. They visited countless doctors, therapist to help Milo. In one bright sunny day, she marks his face wondrous and joyful with the unexpected discovery of a new fascination, on light switches. He opens the musical card, shuts it and opens it again. The same song every time he opens it, but the cards are heaven to him. He spends rest of his days smiling and flapping his hands . That’s all he wants every year.

“ How about a prescription for him that will make him talk.”

“Are you serious!” her husband asks. “Don’t be so silly! Therapy will work best for him.Don’t worry so much.” He says. Milo is her world. When she returns home from  the errands, Milo screeches and jumps up and down, flapping his hands. That’s the way he shows his excitement and happiness. One evening after her walk, Rumi entered into house, with a new idea in her mind. It was weird, but she wanted to give it a try. So she jumped up and down in the same way as her son, flapping her arms. Milo was so excited, that he continued that for a few more seconds. Rumi watches her son and wish he can smile and say, “Hey, mom,glad you’re back” or he can run around and hug her and say, “I love you mom.”.

In one visit to the doctor, he surprised her with the news that her son Milo has autism. Rumi couldn’t move from the chair. “Are you sure?” she asks the doctor. “ Maybe you are reading somebody else.” she waits for the doctor to say something. But it is just a field of silence.

From doctor’s office to her home, she confronts with God while driving. “ Why are you punishing me? What did I do?”she asks. “ If you want to punish me that’s fine but why to my son?” she wipes her tears. “Let him live and enjoy his life,please.” She is angry with Him but she still have faith that Milo will be fine.

“Come Milo, let’s go to the playground.” Rumi says, grabbing the car key. It is a cooler day. She drives him to the nearby playground. Some Children are running around, playing hide and seek. Rumi takes Milo to the swing, the one which gives him extreme pleasure. All he wants to do is play in the swing. You have to push him over and over.After twenty minutes,Rumi gets bored standing there in one place and pushing the swing.”Milo, would you like to play with those kids?” she asks, “ Look! They are having so much fun.” she stops the swing. “Come let’s try. I will be there. Come.” Milo screeches  whipping his head. Instead,he wants to play in the sand box. He scoops up as much as his hands could held, raises his hands high and let the sand spill down. The feeling of sand moving through his fingers mesmerizes him. They stay in the sand box until the sun goes down.

It is another gorgeous day! Rumi finishes her prayer and walks into the kitchen. Milo sits on the kitchen floor and organizes his rocks. He loves to collect smooth, white rocks, mostly round. He arranges them into a line. Rumi sits down on the floor with her son. “ Would you like to play with you?” she asks with a smile. Milo glances at her mom’s smile-stunning brown eyes and knows that he doesn’t need a voice to tell her anything. Her face is like his now. He is delighted with her mom’s contribution to his rock project.So both of them sit there and arrange and rearrange the beautiful rocks in lines.After one hour, Milo jumps up and flaps his hands, a happy dance.

 

Everyone wants her to carry on.Move on. She doesn’t want to. She wants to be here, alone. Rumi stops the car and sits quietly looking at the beach. Her son’s favorite place. Rumi crouches down on the sand and writes Happy Birthday Milo! But with each pulse of waves, her writing washes away. The next wave crashes,and deposits a single white, round rock at her feet. Her heart quickens as she picks up the beautiful, smooth stone and rolls it inside her hand. ‘I miss you so much!’ The first tear is slow, hesitant, and then they come fast, one after another. Rumi Looks at the sky. The moon is bright- yellow and rest of the sky is dotted all over with brilliant white stars.  The moon, the heaven, the universe and her beautiful boy among them.

 

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A Christmas Gift

One Monday morning just before Christmas Anna drives to the university.The road is busy with stressful, inattentive and impatient drivers. The air is vibrant with rich tensions. Suddenly out of  the trail of her eyes Anna notices something on the side of the road, something live. She slows down the car, tries to move into the left lane and stops at the shoulder of the road. Anna opens the car door slowly and walks back a few feet. As she spots the place, she walks closer.“ O, you poor thing!’ A little whisper escapes her slightly parted lips. Anna crouches down  on the pavement.He lays there on the hot concrete with mud and blood on his face and several deep cuts on his body. There are traces of fresh tears just below his eyelids. He blinks his almond-shaped eyes with sadness,lifts his head a little from the ground. His eyes are agonized and face reflects extreme grief. He sighs and closes his eyelids. He is wounded, can not move. Whose dog is this? Or who left him on the road ? Why?? She cupps her hand around her mouth. This so inhumane!! A cold hard wind seems to blow through her. It must be the dog fight! Anna’s eyes are wet and lips are sealed. She strokes the brown fur of the young pit-bull very gently. She removes her silk light blue shawl and covers the dog. She wants to assure him that she understands her pain and she is going to help her, protect her. Anna leans over, lifts the dog with both her hands, brings him close to her body and walks to her car.  She lays the dog  gently on the floor of the car. The dog trembles either because of cold, or from fear, or he is anxious. Or it may be  because of the cruelty of certain humans who likes to raise the pit-bulls and later engage them in dog fight for their own pleasure. Shame on them!There is no extra sheet or blanket in the car, so Anna takes out her jacket and covers him. She drives to the veterinary instead of going to her important client meeting.

Late afternoon in the same week. Anna sits on a rocking chair in her bedroom and rocks back and forth. Sadness flickers across her face;her forehead is shaded with a heavy cloud. Her lips are sealed into a thin line and her carefully tended eyebrows draw together. She feels restless.This is the tenth times in this year she has found the dogs, cats, horses who are harshly treated, and  abandoned. There are stories of abuse in the zoos, in circus, on the elephants poaching for ivory both in the news and magazines. In one news on some laboratories it says how they use the poor helpless animals for experiments in different harsh conditions and then abandon them. Anna wipes her tears. She can not take these any more. She has to do something to help. A sudden brilliant idea flashes on her head. Anna stops rocking, gets to her feet. She searches for the property paper about the plot of land. She pulls out the paper from the file, adjusts her eyeglass on the nose and flips the pages. The area is one hour north-east to the city, has few hills, has a small lake, forested and almost ten acres.That sounds great. Anna settles herself on the beige sofa in the living room. She leans more to the soft pillow, rests her chin in her hand and  lingers to think. She draws in a few breath and finally decides. Though exhausted, manages a small smile. Anna’s final decision is to make that plot of land a sanctuary for the abandon and rescue animals. She pulls out a white Moleskin notebook from the Espresso finish side table  and starts writing the important steps for starting the sanctuary: Check the zoning, register as a non-profit, making brochures to present the organization’s value, mission, program for the members and visitors,  create a website with contact information, new face book page, print newsletters, add in the local newspaper and TV, radio stations.Wow! this is so overwhelming! I am  determined that I can do it and nature will support me and for sure, that my friends in the wordpress will support me. A smile breaks through her gravity.

Christmas morning. The sky is clear blue, full of sunlight and hope. The rescued pit bull stretches out on his belly , nose pressed against the crack of her bedroom door. As Anna opens the door,his tail begins to swish and a small growls of excitement escapes from the corner of his mouth. Anna laughs delightedly and bends down kiss the dog. Today is the big day to announce her plan to her family.

 

 

” Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures”.  – His Holiness The Dalai Lama