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Becerril Family Interview

JULY 10, 2017 – by Michelle Aguilar

This baffling club we all belong to of having a child we love with special health care needs and/or disability can sometimes seem isolating. Sit back and enjoy this story of a few fellow courageous and triumphant souls from the Becerril Family.

Beatriz welcomed me in to her home to interview her. Sitting next to Alexis, her son, on the couch, we began the dance of facing each other to speak and waiting for Ysabel to clarify the words exchanged. Alexis Uriel Becerril was born June 13, 2004. He loves Mexican music with a thump thump, and has been known to happily vocalize as his Father dances with him in his arms. Alexis tracks and follows brilliant colors and works with his vision specialist enjoying the contrasts of Red and Black.

If you want to make Alexis smile or laugh, tickling, singing, or whistling is the best route. He loves to hear dogs bark and experience deep down resonant sounds like the bass of a man's voice or the bass beat to music. Though non-verbal, Alexis makes his mood and emotion known. For those that might be unfamiliar with this particular challenge, think of how young children you know express themselves in their early years. Words are not necessary to determine if he/she is angry, hungry, bored, needing reassurance, etc. Similarly, Alexis vocalizes his thoughts and feelings. Happily, Beatriz could not think of a time that Alexis has been angry; only uncomfortable in times of need.

If a fairy godmother were to grant her one wish, Beatriz wishes that Alexis' potential knew no limits. That all of us could experience or achieve what we wish to. The biggest challenge for Beatriz is when Alexis gets sick and the doctors cannot find anything wrong. That last sentence needs to be reread. It is a horrible feeling to know your child needs help, is asking for help, but the cause of their distress cannot be found.

All of us possess strengths, weaknesses, abilities and inclinations, wherein some things come very easily to us and some things are very difficult. I asked Beatriz what was easy for her. We laughed as she took a moment to search for an answer to that question. Her answer was that in spending multiple times in the hospital with Alexis, Alfredo and Beatriz have seen many sad heartbreaking stories. She said that, in comparison to others, their lives are 'easy'. We chuckled in the knowledge that we families loving and advocating for persons with disability seem to consider our peer families as having it somehow harder than ourselves. Wisely, Beatriz said that she would not change anything, has no regrets, and that her family's specific challenges have helped her gain knowledge. She sees the gift, and resists seeing through a negative lens. Beatriz' determination to live life happily includes self care in the form of working out with friends in a fun and supportive environment downtown at Laura Anguelo's gym, among other things. She recalled a time when her husband's healthcare needs and her son's healthcare needs were simultaneously critical. She told her husband that she was not going to go to the gym one day, and recalls when Alfredo, knowing the challenge, and loving his wife, insisted that she needed to go now more than ever.

Alexis' immediate family includes his father, Alfredo, his mother Beatriz, and his 6 year old sister, Josenid. Josenid likes to experience Alexis' red vest, an apparatus that aides in keeping Alexis' lungs clear, with him. Proudly and prominently displayed, was a beautiful picture of the Becerril family. Alexis smiled broadly in it.

As the interview came to a close, I expressed to Beatriz that sometimes interviewers do not know the questions to ask, and asked her if there was anything she wished to add. Her thoughts went to happy moments with Alexis. He is cherished and included, loved and spoken to typically by his extended family. Alexis screamed with glee when enjoying Independence Day festivities this year. He has brought light and love to his family and friends, and enjoys going just about everywhere with his family.

Allowing me to video the moment, Beatriz demonstrated how she makes Alexis smile and laugh. He was quick to do so, and the love present between them was palpable.