05 June 2009


I have shown my friend Derrick to everyone a few months ago when he discovered my webcam.  If you need a reminder, you can see the video here.  What brings me back to him is something that struck me when he arrived at the SJC yesterday.  His is often one of the first when he does come and it is always with his grandmother.  The two of them ride on the back of a motorcycle to the front of the SJC.  Each time he gets off and waits as his grandmother pays.  He takes her hand and guides her up the planks and over the large steps.  With his small hand tugging, he pulls her across the lawn to where Neto and I are always seated.  Sometimes we are joined by Sue, David, Angela or any combination of the group.

Her English is decent and she greets us before heading in.  Derrick again takes her hand to bring her into the center and shows her to her seat.  He brings her about and checks on her as if she is his prized possession.  When she needs help, he is there asking what he can do for her.  I have seen this go on for months and never thought much.  He seemed to be a caring grandson, but the totality of his actions never made it all the way though my self.

Yesterday, I watched him do this and I was moved as he went about with his grandmother.  Here was a boy who is both physically and mentally disabled leading his blind grandmother around.  All of responsibility is upon this boy.  When he arrives inside he runs about and plays, but when it comes time to help his grandmother, he rushes to her side.  Simple acts of kindness often go unnoticed, but when seen can forever alter the way you look at a person.

He is not a unique child when it comes to this, many children here must carry the weight of a family.  I never figured to be inspired by a boy like Derrick.  I expected to learn from children and adults, but not to find a role model in a child who I see once a week.  I wish that I had some other way to express what I saw yesterday.  I hope that this will do for now and I hope to attempt to revisit this in the future.