Friday, June 14, 2013

My Letter to Alex Spourdalakis

Dear Alex,

We never met but I wish I had met you.

I heard about you on the news and I heard you were in the hospital a lot. I spent a LOT of time in hospitals when I was younger and it was really scary. Hospitals smell of a really bad combination of sick and healthy and the lights are really bright. I remember being scared and unhappy that I couldn't just be at home playing with my stuffed animals.

I was really sick but my mom and dad loved me so they brought me to the hospital and I got better. I was still Autistic when I got out, but I felt better. When I was a kid I couldn't eat a lot of milk or I'd get really sick and I'd get mad at people because I felt bad so they should feel bad. Things were really rough when I was a kid and I want you to know that I understand.

I understand feeling trapped in your own body and finding comfort in your head. We were alike.
I haven't always been able to talk to people and I know that it took a lot of work and I wanted to stop. I wanted people to understand me and I'm lucky that my mother loved me a lot. She still does love me and I know I'm very lucky to have the relationship I do with my mom.

I thought about you the other week and I tried to see how you were doing.
I tried to google you and I didn't find anything.
No really, I tried and scrounged the web and looked in some dark spots of the internet but I couldn't find you.
The internet was too quiet.
and I had to stop looking because I was in a scary part of the internet.

That part of the internet was filled with people who hate people like me, people with Autism. They think we are medical errors and don't realize we are people. I have dreams and hopes and I have a cat named Zap but he lives at my mom's place so he can go outside to chase chipmunks. He never hurts them but he likes to play with them. I'm not something that went wrong and needs to be cured. I just need to learn how to behave in some situations and how to do some things on my own without help.

I don't know if you liked dinosaurs or if you wanted to be a firefighter. I wish I knew those things.

I know your mother killed you.
She killed you because she thought you were suffering and in pain all the time.
She didn't understand that you were not broken, you have Autism.
Autism means you are special and different.
I have friends with Autism and they are nice people.

I'm sorry that you mom didn't understand how special you were.
She tried to give you too many pills and then she hurt you when that didn't work.
She hurt you a lot.
I don't know how scare you must have been.
I'm sorry you were scared.

The world is a big scary place and I wish you could have seen more of it because it is also a beautiful place. There are places filled with mountains up to the clouds and beaches were all you see is the ocean all around you.
I wish I would have met you.

Alex, you were a wonderful person and I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you. You lived outside Chicago so maybe we did meet at one point. Maybe I passed you on the street and we were both having ice cream.
Did you like ice cream?

I need to go now because I am going to hang out with my friends today and see my mom. You would have liked my mom. She knows who you are and we are all sad that we didn't get to meet you. I wish I could talk more, but I can't get a letter back from you so I'm just going to hope you get this message.

I hope you are having fun in heaven. If you see my Grandfather you should tell him I say "Hi" because I miss him. You should have him tell you some of the stories he told me. He has great stories and I know he loves to tell them to people.

I hope you know you were loved by people.
I love you Alex and I wish I had met you.

Your Friend,
~Brigid Ann Sinclair Rankowski

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