The Fijian Way



Lindsay’s Collection of Observations…..

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A Mother’s Love 

Like Stephen and I, Pedero is new here at the Gospel School for the Deaf. He arrived at the hostel only a few days after us.  Right off the bat the three of us had something in common;  it was the fact that we were all adjusting to new surroundings,  a new bed at night and new faces.  It was on that first night that Pedero tossed in his bed unable to sleep due to a pestering cough. Being the nurse on-site, I grabbed some of my child liquid cough medicine and rubbed his back until he drifted to sleep. As I sat there tucked under the mosquito net with Pedero, I  looked at him and realized just how small this child is. He must be five years old, if that. His small little body should be cradled in his mothers arms, read a story, and tucked under the sheets before bed at night.  I thought about Pedero’s parents, I wondered if he even had parents? Wondering how it must of felt for them  to drop off their five year old son at a school, with what are for the most part (trusting) “strangers”.  Isn’t that what parents do when their child is 18 and goes off to college? Although Pedero’s parents can visit him, they won’t be able to help him learn his numbers, his colors, teach him how to swim, ride a bike, let him lick the spoon of the brownie mix, or wipe his tears when he scraps his knee. If Pedero is like most kids here at the Gospel School for the Deaf, he’ll remain a student all through grade school, middle and into high school.  He’ll visit home during Christmas and holiday breaks but for the most part he’ll call the GSFTD hostel his home. Again,  like most of the kids living here, Pedero’s parents realized that GSFTD is not only their son’s opportunity at education but it’s a place where he’s not an outsider, where he is taught how to communicate and where he is given the same opportunities as the other children. 

Last week it was Pedero’s sixth Birthday. His mother and little sister traveled four hours by bus to visit him. I was thrilled to meet Pedero’s mother. I went on and on about how much I adored her son, how well behaved he is, how well he gets along with the other children, and how well he’s adjusting. This was the first time Pedero and his mother had seen one another since she dropped him off for his first night here. Pedero’s mother brought him a small bag of cookies as a treat for his birthday. My heart was smiling as I sat from a distance and watched Pedero sit side by side with his mother enjoying his birthday cookies. I knew this precious moment wouldn’t last for long, Pedero’s mother would at some point have to leave. That moment  came all too soon. Pedero grabbed onto his mother’s skirt, crying, shaking his head. This was just like a child being dropped off at pre-school or kindergarten for their first day, except Pedero’ s mother isn’t able to tell her son she’ll see him in a few hours, or that she’ll make him dinner later, or take him to the play ground after school. This is all sad in itself, but to take it to the next level, Pedero’s mother cannot even comfort him with words, because Pedero is deaf. I watch her as she speaks Fijian to him but both her and I know he cant hear her- yet at the same time its her innate thing to do, as it would be mine as well. All of the other deaf children and hostel staff tried to distract Pedero, bringing out games, grabbing his hand, but all Pedero wanted was his mother. After several attempts at leaving, Pedero’s mother finally had to get on her way. As I walked her out to the front gate,  we could both hear Pedero crying, it was an awful moment.  As we looked back we could see his face up against the window, his hand reaching out for his mother. I stood there literally stuck between the two of them, his mother began to cry and I comforted her as best I could but there was no way I could feel her pain.  I could only imagine how difficult it must be to leave your child behind, and what strength it takes to in some way sacrifice your life with your child for the betterment of his own future. I’m not a mother but being apart of this experience gave me a glimpse into how deep a mother’s love for her child runs.

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Comments

  1. * Mom says:

    Liz,
    This made me cry…which we both know doesn’t take much. Thank you for being there for both of them….Pedero and his mom. Just think of how much harder it would have been for them if you were not there.
    Keep up all the wonderful work that you and Stephen are doing.

    Love, Mom

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 5 months ago
  2. * Mary Mook says:

    Like your mom Lindsay I cried. What a wonderful story! True love requires sacrifice. Love, Mary

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 5 months ago


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