New Humanity Movement

Social Harmony and Art

 

HappyTime2
A couple with a kid suffering from a severe disability. The rediscovery of the value of sorrow, “the precious pearl” one needs in order to learn how to measure her needs on the ones of her neighbor and to live, giving value to every single choice. It is a mum that tells this story, but she is also the promoter, together with others, of an initiative that involves the whole neighborhood, and has a wide perspective.

By Rosalba Lauria- Rome

My first kid's name is Mirko, and he suffers from a rare genetic disease, a sort of childhood Parkinson , which causes a quite grave psychomotor retardation.

His first two years of life have been really difficult, due to multiple and long hospitalizations, during which the child had to undergo a lot of exams, sometimes even invasive. The doctors were not optimistic: they assumed it was a progressive disease, that perhaps would have led him to death. 

When I was younger, I participated in many meetings with other young people who, like me,  shared an ideal, that of universal Brotherhood, which arose from the radical choice to put the Gospel into practice. During the period of hospitalizations some of the sentences of those times continuously came to my mind: "love everyone," "be the first one to love," "become one" .... I had heard them so many times!

I remembered everything I had lived and tried to live where I was, with doctors, nurses and mothers of the other patients, just like many other young people were doing, and how the same Chiara Lubich, who first had suggested this style of life, had encouraged us to do.

Thanks also to all those experiences, I deeply felt in my heart that God wants only and exclusively our own good, even when everything seems to prove otherwise.

The clinical picture of Mirko, albeit slowly, was improving, with the great surprise particularly of the doctors. I remember with what joy we greeted every single little progress, received as a gift: the achievement of stability of the head, the movement of the little hands to play, the capacity to sit, and  at the age of eight years the first steps! Currently, Mirko has a good level of autonomy, although he does not speak yet, but we do not put limits to Providence!

I have been able to name the pain that characterized my life at that time, only after many years. As a Christian, I knew I could rely on him, of God, who had paid also for Mirko and me, giving His life on the Cross.

I began to accept the most difficult moments, without having to figure out how to fix it or how to behave, but just trying to love my son as best I can, together with my husband, with whom, in these recent years, the relationship has strengthened a lot, and the inner peace and joy which we experience every time is priceless.

Moreover, I often share our experience with the community, and it is particularly from the material and spiritual support of all, that I drew strength to entrust myself to God all the times, and to remain open to life after all. After many years Milena was born Milena, a very special gift, a clear sign of God's love for my family!

Our life has undergone a radical change: the pain, "precious pearl" as it was defined by Chiara Lubich, changes the way we see things. Everything takes on a different value, we live life in its essence, we become more sensitive to the pain of others, because we recognize, in the pain of the other, an immense opportunity to love and to improve ourselves as persons.

That is why, during all these years, more than once in my mind it popped up the desire to do something for other parents, who were experiencing situations similar to ours, but I did not know how and what to do.

In the fall of 2005 I met Claudia, a young mother who had in her arms a newborn baby, suffering from the Down syndrome. She needed support and somebody to share her pain with. Together with Nice, a mother of seven children, who had adopted a girl suffering from the Down syndrome, we began to visit with Claudia regularly. Simona joined us: even though she does not have disabled children, she has always been particularly sensitive and willing to work for others. It was possible to talk about our personal experiences, ask for advice, share fears and expectations. Therefore, it was born the desire to live our experiences with others and to do something for our children and for all the families of the neighborhood.

The then-president of the Municipality, with whom we had spoken of us, wanted to know us better and supported from the outset, to our great amazement, all the ideas we had.

In 2006 we joined the Association Happy Time, which had already been operating for some years in the seventeenth Municipality of Rome, in order to begin and operate in our neighborhood in some premises provided by the school.

Laboratories have been set up where all children, particularly those with disabilities or hardships of various kinds, can play enjoyable activities in a spirit of sharing, solidarity, reciprocity, discovering their own inclinations, expressing creativity, emotions and potentials, in order to strengthen them, each according to their ability.

We started pottery and papier-mâché workshops, introductory music, choral singing, guitar, fantasy-comic illustration, theater. This year it was attended by about forty children, some of whom come from shelters in the neighborhood.

We founded the Association Happy Time Infernetto (from the name of our neighborhood), of which four of us are the founding members.

In agreement with the Interagency Network for the integration of students with disabilities, the association has started some laboratories (psychomotor, break-dance, ceramics and papier-mâché, theater, music, carded wool/batik, graffiti-aerosolart) in ten schools of the thirteenth Municipality of Rome.

Moreover, we aim to provide a valuable aid to parents who today, more than ever, are left alone in living the great responsibility of 'parenthood.' To this end, we are working with the team of Dr. Bruna Grasselli, Professor of Special Education at the Third University of Rome, who is training us, so that we can be of help to others with our experience.

The initiatives of the association have set in motion a chain of solidarity, that involves many people. In the laboratory, the children are supervised by a teacher, who is then assisted by volunteers, usually young mothers and grandmothers, who in turn provide a bit of their time, in order to help in carrying out a number of different activities.

Moreover, there are many others who have committed themselves (once a month) to make a cake for children's snacks, offered during the laboratory activities. 

Of course, this collaboration affects all the people who come into contact with us, who understand how everything is not born from the expertise of a single person, but by trying to live the brotherhood in everyday situations, creating family ties with everyone.

Sometimes the other mothers and I are assaulted by fear, fatigue, and we wonder whether the path we are on is really the right one, the one desired by God for us. It is exactly in these moments that something completely unexpected occurs, which instead confirms that we are on the right track.

The reason why they have invited precisely us, a very small reality, just born, is because, according to them, we are the only point of reference for the aggregation and integration in our neighborhood, and we have proven to work well.

© Photo Copyright Associazione Happy Time Infernetto, all rights reserved 

 

Presets
Main Style
Patterns
Accent Color
Apply

This website uses “technical cookies”, including third parties cookies, which are necessary to optimise your browsing experience. By closing this banner, or by continuing to navigate this site, you are agreeing to our cookies policy. The further information document describes how to deactivate the cookies.