Letter no. 15: Ivan Speaks
by Tracy Willis (A Response to Letter no. 14- Etxraordinary Measure)
Thank you for taking in me in, providing me sustenance and money so that we may live another day. My mother is sick and we have nothing and no-one except each other. I am here on the street because she cannot be. If I fail to reach out, to appeal to your heart and your humanity there is no future for us.
My mother did not expect for me to be born this way and I did not ask to be to be cut off from you and the rest of the world. I cannot hear you or answer your questions. Without a voice how can I appeal to you? Without words how can I tell you that I have not eaten for three days and my mother is now very sick. I do not share the language you share with your friends, family and loved ones – you can chatter and gossip, shout and whisper. You can sing songs of love, hope and joy. I can do none of these things.
Many look upon me as a wretched street kid. Because I cannot pester them and use my voice to beg they think I have no need. Or worse, they think I have given up. I am needy, I have not given up, I cannot afford to give up for me or my mothers sake.
So how do I appeal to you, to your compassion and kindness so that you will spare me money or food (I do not mind which, I am in need of both). If you will look at me, see beyond my torn clothing and dusty skin, you will see I am a child. Once you were a child, innocent, helpless, pure. If you will look into my eyes, you will see I remind you of that child who needed to be cared for, nurtured and loved. I need those things too but I cannot ask with my voice so I ask you with my eyes. Look into my eyes again and hold my gaze, you will see my soul reaching out to you, seeking a connection that only humanity can provide.
Thank you for sharing your humanity, thank you for connecting with me when I am often so alone. Your kindness keeps me living but more than that it touched my soul. I cannot sing by using your language, I have no voice. But today you made my soul sing. I hope when I am on the street tomorrow some other stranger will see beyond my ragged clothes so that I may connect with them and touch another soul.
Tracy Willis, 43, is a mother, a wife and a friend with a gentle spirit and a curious mind who is fighting cancer disease right now. She lives near Tenbury Wells in England. Her blog can be found her http://fecthis.wordpress.com/
Thank you for being Michael to me. Sharing this heartwarming message to me as Ivan only means you don’t have much of a difference. I felt deep within how Ivan fought for hunger and pover the way you are fighting against cancer. I felt Ivan’s dedication to God and love to his mother despite being mute and deaf the same way you embrace life and what it has to offer despite your sickness. My prayers are for both of you. Thank you.