There he stood, next to the clothes laid out for the day, looking at me earnestly and calling “Ki-ga” repeatedly. In the busy-ness of the morning with a chaotic household being funnelled towards the door and off to school, Samuel’s intensity grew, along with the volume. “Ki-ga! Ki-ga!” It was yet another frustrating moment for us both - he trying in vain to tell me something, and I unable to comprehend.

Over the past four years we have oscillated between hope and despair, wondering whether Samuel would ever overcome obstacles in his path. Comparisons are always ubiquitous, and Samuel lives in the shadow of siblings whose progress has always been rapid. “Ki-ga!” Is there any hope here? Will he ever talk? On some days, all seems black; hope a distant, unrealistic dream. The temptation to simply ignore his mutterings is fed by the sense of despair. But Samuel does not give up. He points to his clothes now, continuing to cry “Ki-ga!”

There’s one enduring characteristic about Samuel - his perseverance. In his short life he has overcome more obstacles - and greater ones - than I have ever dreamed of facing. But he never gives up. At times that determination is tiring, both physically and emotionally. He seems to be wired up with Duracells! Oh, for an ounce of his energy! …but more so of his determination.

“Ki-ga!” He tries again. And the penny drops at last (with me). “Kinder!? Yes! You are going to kinder. Let’s get dressed! The look of satisfaction at having finally communicated spreads across his face. “Ki-ga” he says again, proud to have achieved.

And I have learned my lesson again from him. “Persevere, Dad Stick with me, and we will get there.” Don’t give up on what is important.

What were those words of Jesus? Oh, yes!
“He who endures to the end will be saved.”

March 11, 2001
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