My list of angels and superheroes could never be complete without the special place that Omar, Daniela, and Martin, as well as their mom and dad, my uncle Pedro and my aunt Pierangela had in my life. They are my cousins, but in reality they are so much more than that. Truth is, I tried to write this piece so many times, but words are not enough to express my immense gratitude to them.
My childhood and my life in general were simply made better because of them. Around them, we were just a family. We were not special, different, and didn’t need to be “accommodated.” Life was simply life. Love was simply love. And my youngest brother with disabilities was their cousin too. They saw him for who he was.
They presented a micro social experiment of what could be possible. They presented an alternative. I felt safe. I felt understood. I felt heard. And what’s more important, I felt that my little brother was a person first. When I was growing up, it was not uncommon for people to see disability first, then, perhaps, the person behind it.
At my cousins’ house this was not the case.
To Omar, Daniela, Martin, and my late uncle Pedro and late aunt Pierangela, THANK YOU.