All things Bright and Beautiful - Free online book A Fight for Life

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Would you ask God to give you a child that is described as blind, deaf, mute, paralyzed and about to die? Would you take him as a gift instead of as a burden? Would you thank God everyday for him coming to your life? Would you see him as the best thing that ever happened to your life? Meet my brother Pedro.

In 2003 I wrote a book about Pedro. It was in Portuguese. It was one of those things that I never thought that could happen to me. I saw a literary contest online that was about to end in two months and as I had some time off at the university, I sat down and wrote my brother's story. I calculated how many pages I had to write everyday to meet the total requirement, and in the last day I finished the last page. I mailed the package and one month later I found out that from more than 650 contestants my book had been chosen. Not a surprise if you know about Pedro's story. God was not done with his miracles, and the book was just one more of them.

Next week my brother will turn 30 years old. And in his honor I will begin to post his story here for you. I have already translated the first chapters a while ago. So I will post a chapter a week and start to translate the rest of the chapters. It will be my motivation to keep working on the translation and if you have any suggestion on grammar or writing tips, please share with me. English is not my first language, so this translation may not be the best. But in the process I am also kind of rewriting the text to be best understood by the English reader.

The book in Portuguese is available here and here. For more information about my brother's life you can check my dad's blog, in Portuguese here. If you want to know about my dad's spiritual journey that led him to one day adopt my brother, you can read it in Portuguese and English.

Hope the book also touches your life as Pedro has touched mine.

Picture taken this past February

A fight for life

by Lia Hadley

Dear Diary,

Today I decided to open your pages and rely on your friendly shoulders to unburden my feelings. A confidant I can trust with my secrets. I know that you will be sympathetic with everything that I scribble between your lines, as I hope to achieve more courage, strength and motivation through our relationship. Finally, I ask your help to find inspiration. Let me explain why.
I've always dreamed of writing a book. A novel that would tell a captivating and mysterious story to inspire many readers. That would enable them to experience emotions, landscapes and sensations. Its paragraphs would inspire love and bring up tears, laughter and sighs. But not even in my wildest dreams I imaged to write my own story.
What would be so special about my life worth telling? Everything. Actually, I had a very peculiar life, different from the majority, as each life differs from another. However, by getting used to it, I despised its importance. I thought that to bring it back through words would be useless, but I've never being so wrong. Don’t you agree?
Still not sure, I began to type the first paragraph, only one step in the extensive journey that I plan to take. I don’t even know if I will get to the end. Because I was afraid of exposing myself too much, I first built the narrative in the third person. I thought that, by changing the focus, my privacy would be spared. But that took me to the wrong direction, as someone who doesn't want to get involved with her own piece of work.
After I finished the first chapter, I read the text and found it terrible! It didn’t express anything, just words and masks. I was killing the memories of my own life. I was unable to transplant much of my personal moments to the strange and unknown character that I had just created. I realize that to write “She cried”, is quite different than to say that “I cried”. And how much I cried! To switch my life to a third person would definitely spare my privacy. And the character’s too. Nobody would want to read such a cold, dead and impersonal book.
When I assumed my character – when I stepped into my own shoes – the words sprouted with life. I felt my blood pumping and the fear of expressing my feelings were transformed into courage. Some paragraphs pulled out tears of my eyes, others made me laugh. It was as if I had the gates of my soul opened to pour waters kept in there for so long. Deep waters, some agitated, some placid as a mirror, but all kept secure inside me. To open gates locked for so long is not an easy task. They creaked a bit, before letting it go even a drop of everything I had to tell.
To rescue some of my childhood details I am getting help from my parents, searching through old pictures and exercising a lot of concentration. I am going back in time to relive facts that will never come back, except through this book. I am realizing that the task of writing an autobiography is not easy. Our memory is weak, vague and cunning. It gathers distant moments and pushes apart some emotions from facts. It plays tricks in our head trying to favor negligible details, while suppressing what really matters. It shows that there isn’t an absolute truth, but many impressions of life's events, highlighted differently on each person’s mind.
Well, dear Diary, by now you may be already aware of the reason of my request. What do you think? I came up with the idea of asking for your help after I finished the first chapter. I thought that I could share with you some moments, thoughts and reflexions. You know, like a therapy, to stimulate my mind, inspire my senses and generate many ideas to help writing my book. Do you like the idea? Well, from now on I count on you to give me a hand. Thank you.

Good night, L.

Book: A fight for Life
CHAPTER 3 (Part 2) coming soon...