She was my first friend when I moved to Sao Paulo.
I was 20, recently graduated, coming from a tiny little town in the south of Brazil, moving to one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world...And there she was, from Belo Horizonte, a journalist, as scared and as enthusiastic as I was! Life was about to begin for both of us! Starting a new carreer in the big city...my first job, lots of new people, becoming an adult!
I think I have already told this story here in the blog... First salary, what would you buy? Guess what? I bought a bed!!! I'll never forget this! Paid in 10 instalments, I wanted the biggest bed in the shop! (and it's still here with me in London!) Anyway, Andrea was there with me. When I couldn't find a flat, SHE shared her bed with me. When I broke up with my ex-boyfriend after a 5 years relationship, SHE was there with me... And they got married, I was one of the bridesmaid, and there SHE was, again, helping me with my dress in a salon in Belo Horizonte...Shouldn't it be the other way around? No, Andrea, always Andrea...the bride helping the bridesmaid...When Theo, her baby boy was born, I was the first one that could make him stop crying! I'll never forget that feeling...
And when I moved to London SHE was the one who took me to the airport and waved me good-bye! And then, in June last year, a call from her changed a lot of the perspectives I had about people, love, family, live and resilience! Theo was diagnosed autistic...and there SHE was, fragile but at the same time extremely strong!!! And since then I've learnt so much from her!
Dea, my dearest friend, I'll never forget that lift from home to the office in April this year. The annoying traffic jam from Sao Paulo was never so welcomed! I'll never forget how emotional that chat was, and I'll never forget the most amazing lessons I might have learnt so far from your speech during that chat! And I'll never stop admiring you and Le and Theo!!! You guys rock and I love you very much!
"I've always feared to become a whinning person. From very early in life, this sort of people have annoyed me. I guess that's why I put forth great effort on not assuming the victim position. Here at home, we've lived in distress for the last two years. First, we discovered my mother had cancer.A few months later, my two-year-old son Theo was diagnosed autistic.With so many news to cope with, my marriage, of course, was shaken.And when we thought things were starting to settle down, another blow: my mother's cancer had become metastatic, my father-in-law had a heart attack and, most recently, I lost my job. From that perspective, I would have plenty of reasons to be complaining about my life. However, I believe we choose how to react to things. And I choose to be optimistic! There must be something good in all this. Do you want to see it?First, I'm thankful that my child is not a severe autistic. His condition could be much, much worse – he could even have something way more serious than autism. Being familiar with neuro-pediatricians medical offices, we know better than anyone that there are parents in a much graver and painful situation than ours in the world.
I'm thankful because Theo's diagnosis was made early, which is beyond rare in Brazil (unfortunately). I'm thankful because we have financial conditions to give him a proper treatment. I'm thankful for finding the right professionals in a record velocity. And because I see the results of the therapies he takes day by day, with every novelty and advances he makes!I'm thankful because my son kisses me, hugs me and says mama every day with such an enormous love that I can't help but feel undeserving of it.I'm thankful that the troubles we've been through served to strengthen our bond as husband and wife. And even my unemployment was beneficial to strengthen my bond with my child.I'm thankful for my family, for my husband's family, and for the friends - the chosen family - for all the support and love given throughout this time. I guess Theo has no idea how much he is loved, but I'm pretty sure he will realize it when he is older.I'm thankful for the wonderful people I've met during this journey: other parents, with similar pains, that understand me as nobody. I've met so many brave people in the last year! And I have learned so much!Finally, I'm thankful for the future that is coming. I'm optimistic enough to believe it will be great to Theo. And that he will become a happy person, always overcoming his difficulties, and that he will find a more fair, caring and inclusive society!Happy Thanksgiving!"