Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ikeuchi Aya

Ikeuchi Aya was a 15-year-old girl. She was Japanese. She lived with her parents, her brother, and her sisters. She was the oldest among them. Her father opened a tofu shop at their house. Her mother worked as a health consultant.
Until she reached the age of 15, she was very healthy and lively. She joined the basketball team in her junior high school as well as in her senior high school. She was really good at basketball and became a regular member as soon as she joined the team.

But at 15, she realized something weird was going on with her body. She fell really often when she walked and also couldn’t pick her bag up from the floor, when she wanted to put it into her school locker. Of course, for a normal person, this wouldn't happen.

Not only Aya, but her mother noticed it as well. So one day, when Aya fell again right on her face, her mother brought her to the hospital to cure her injury and also to have a general check-up. The doctor was a neurologist. He found that Aya’s cerebrum suffered from a degenerative condition. He soon told Aya’s parents. And for Aya, she found out by herself that she had an incurable disease named Spinocerebellar Degeneration.

From then on, Aya’s condition got worse and worse. She became just like the doctor said she would be. She became unable to walk and was forced to use a wheelchair at school, so she had to leave the basketball team. Then, it became very difficult for her to write. It made her lessons in class difficult to do. The teachers decided she must move to a school for the disabled. Sadly, she moved there.

Years later, she had to stay in the hospital because her condition made it impossible to live outside. From then on, she could no longer speak. It became difficult to write, and difficult to swallow food. In her 25th year, she left this world.

Now, her youngest sister, Rika, works as a private tutor teaching kids how to study; her younger brother, Hiroki, is working as a policeman, protecting the area and keeping it safe. Her younger sister, Ako-san, ever since graduating from Higashikou High School where Aya attended, like Shioka, has been working as a health consultant. Her father, Mizuno, and her mother, Shioka, up until now are still continuing to pass on Aya’s beliefs.

During her suffering, she wrote in her diary every day until she couldn’t write anymore. She said it was the only way to prove that she was still alive… Here are some words from her diary:

“If I were a flower, then now I would be a bud.
I shall treasure the beginning of my youth without any regrets.
This disease, why did it choose me?

Fate. It can't be put into words.

I want to make a time machine and go back in time.

If it wasn't for this disease,

not only I could enjoy falling in love but I also

wouldn’t have to rely on anyone and live by myself.

I really don't want to say things such as 'I want to go back to how things were before.'

I recognize how I am right now, and I will continue to live on.

Therefore I definitely won't run away.

That's what I’ll do. Definitely, always.
Even if it's like that, I still want to stay here.
because this is the place where I am.

If you look up at the sky after falling down the blue sky is also today

stretching limitlessly and smiles at me...I'm alive.

People shouldn’t dwell on the past. It's enough
to try your best in all that you're doing now.

Reality is too cruel, too brutal.

I don’t even have the right to dream.
As i think about the future, the tears will come out again."

“Mom, can I get married?”

The diary, 1 Litre of Tears, that Aya had been writing in since she was 15 has sold 18 million copies. Even after 29 years it still continues to give a lot of people courage.

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