ruth wrote:In part it's incredibly sad (that naivity and vulnerability and the fact that she might not understand what love is), but mostly I think that it's incredibly beautiful (that she's that loving and open and that maybe she does genuinely love everyone because she's more open to it than 'normal' people).
Yes, I agree, it is both incredibly sad and incredibly beautiful, as you say.
Recently I met two former co-workers ( ran into them not a planned meeting) in a restaurant. I noticed them and went to their table to say hello. I was fond of each, but didn't realize until that chance meeting that they were sister and brother. I gave the woman a hug, as I knew her better than I did her brother and I had always admired and been fond of her, but knew little or next to nothing of her personal life. (Actually these two were elderly volunteers at the hospital where I worked. They still thought of me as a "kid" because of their advanced age.) There was a third person at the table with them, a female, hard to say her age, probably late thirties, she had the features that usually accompany Down's Syndrome. I was so touched when this younger woman waited for a lull in our conversation and introduced herself to me by saying very proudly and with a charming smile, "I'm her daughter." I wondered why my co-worker failed to make that known to me and take advantage of the opportunity to introduce me to her daughter. I don't know for sure, but I think it was deliberate, or at least an indication that she was not in the habit of giving her daughter the same respect as she would give "normal" people. She thought it was important enough to tell me that the man across the table from her was her brother, but not that the young woman sitting next to him was her daughter. I thought, " well good for you, after all you are somebody too, as important as anyone else here, and you are proving this by speaking up and introducing yourself to me." I wonder how often this has happened to that young woman and others like her. The thing that makes this so sad and beautiful at the same time is that the young woman was (probably) unaware that her mother's failure to introduce her was a kind of dismissal or denial of her existence and had probably happened a hundred times before, yet her spirit was undaunted because of her child-like innocence. This experience touched me and is one that I will most likely not forget.
That is very sad.