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angelica the beautiful

November 9, 2010

Me n' Ang dance in the seminary streets!

Monday night is without a doubt my favorite night of the week.  Oh sure I get to dance the night away every Tuesday, but that doesn’t beat sitting on a couch listening to Angelica pound away at the drums in the next room.  Or our light-hearted, laughter-filled banter in the car on the way to and from drum lessons.  On Monday evenings, Angelica comes alive through her musical expression, and I love being able to witness such beauty!

Angie is one of the most amazing people I know.  Everyone has a unique cross to carry, and Angelica’s is particularly special.  Even with all the trials, difficulties and frustrations of being autistic, Ang continues to carry her cross with dignity and good humor.

I still remember that cold January night when we first talked to Angelica about being autistic.  It was a lot to take in and it wasn’t easy for her to hear at first, but she soon came to terms with it, though the official diagnosis wouldn’t come for another year.  That night, Ang breathed a sigh of relief as though a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders.  I hadn’t realized how hard she had been trying to keep up with all of us.  She knew she wasn’t like other young people her age, but she didn’t know why until that moment.  Ang recognized that being autistic meant she was different than others her age and that was ok.  She was still a beloved daughter of God with great worth and dignity.  She no longer had to try to be someone she wasn’t.

It was amazing to see  Ang come into her own after that.  Anger and frustration were replaced by humor and wit.  It hasn’t been an easy journey since then – she still has an incredibly difficult cross to bear – but Angelica is a very different person than she was before she knew she was autistic.  She has learned to embrace who she is, with all of her gifts and limitations.  She doesn’t use autism as an excuse, but it sure is funny to hear her remind me in her matter-of-fact way, “Um… Sil-yah, that’s cause I’m autistic!”  And the knowledge has helped me learn to love Angelica the way she needs to be loved.

Today, Ang celebrates her 26th birthday.  I am humbled that God gave me such an amazing sister!  Angelica is the laughter in my life and the bounce in my step (usually because she likes to walk into me and throw me off-balance).  I can’t imagine my life without her and I am grateful that I don’t have to!

Happy Birthday, Angelica!  I love you, and I just want you to remember that no matter what the future holds, I will always be here for you (whether you like or not!).

She might not show it, but she really does love me!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Cristin Luea permalink
    November 12, 2010 6:48 pm

    I love you Ang! Happy Birthday!!

  2. November 19, 2010 6:45 pm

    Beautifully written!


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