39th UPU International Letter-writing Competition for Young People
Author: Svetlana Zinevitch from Belarus
My dear mother
Good morning, dear mother! I am already awake, and I want to smile for you. I’m happy because today you are calm, and so I feel calm too. Whenever you tremble, I sense that you are ill, that you are sick with something I cannot understand. I just hear you saying over and over again to me, "I"m sorry, my little guy, I"m sick. I have AIDS." You repeat it so often that I know that "AIDS" means something bad. That it makes you very ill, and it scares me. When you become sad and start to cry, I curl up under your heart and cry with you. I feel like this terrible word, "AIDS", somehow affects me.
I am not yet born, but I already know that life is wonderful, because I have felt your care and affection. Your sweet voice is like joyful music to me! I’m so happy to have you as my mother, even though you"re sick. Your heart is full of joy when the doctor tells you: "Your little boy is healthy." I am trying very hard to be healthy, dear mother, to make you proud. I think you know that I am a boy, because you call me "little guy". That"s what you call me when you read me stories and poems and sing me lullabies. You are wise and educated, and I am proud of you.
You friends say that this bad thing happened to you when you rescued a neighbour boy from a fight. If you had only known that you could catch AIDS that way … If you had known, I think you would have done the same thing anyway. You just would have been more careful. But no-one had ever warned you about those things. You are sick, but you have not lost hope of recovering, and that makes me very happy. You like to say, "You have to know your enemy," and "Knowledge is power, little one." You picked yourself up and starting learning about this disease. You have learned a lot about it, and I have too. You tell your friends and neighbours that it’s important to talk about AIDS, so that the same bad thing does not happen to them. Once you were invited to a school to speak to the older kids there. They listened so closely when you told them that you were sick with AIDS and that you were going to have a child who would be born healthy. You told them that the doctor"s diagnosis did not have to be a death sentence. You have to learn to live with it and fight it. It"s hard to understand how it must feel to be diagnosed with AIDS. Society needs to learn to have a tolerant attitude toward people who have this disease, because no-one is immune.
Even you used to think that AIDS infected only drug addicts and people living an immoral life. You learned that anyone can contract HIV in a fight or by using manicure or shaving tools that have been contaminated with infected blood. That"s why it"s important to talk about AIDS and help protect each other. You told the kids that you can"t contract HIV through dishes, food, door handles, showers, swimming pools, insect bites, animals, handshakes or hugs. And I was so happy, dear mother, when all the kids shook your brave hand and wished you well as they left the classroom.
You told the class that women with HIV could give birth to healthy children and that I would be born healthy. In the meantime, I think about everything that we have learned, you and I. I know this: I have to help people overcome this terrible disease. Soon, I will enter the world, dear mother, and you will be so happy that I am a healthy, strong boy. I already have a dream – actually, not a dream, but a goal – to help people get over this disease, especially you, my dear mother. I"m still not sure how, but I will do it. Researching this dangerous disease and finding a cure is my destiny. And don"t worry that it will take years. I know you"ll get better, because I am your son and that is what I have decided. You"re the one who always tells me: "You must reach for your goal, little one." But now, sweet mother, I must say goodbye for a short while, because little ones are supposed to sleep.
Your little guy
Nguồn: Vụ HTQT
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