The story continues...
During a visit to Wender’s family, the year after his tragic death, I discovered there was a new, but unexpected member in the family; a beautiful little girl. Not recalling Wender’s mother being pregnant on my earlier visits that year I really wondered where this sweet little angel had come from.
On asking about her, Wender’s mother simply replied: “Look a little closer and tell me what immediately comes to mind...”
My answer was the inevitable question: “Wender...?”
....and Wender it was!
That young rascal that we all missed so much had left behind a pregnant girlfriend who had given birth to his child just a few months after his unexpected death. The little girl, Pituca was her nickname, had been left with Wender’s parents to foster, because the young mother was not in any condition herself to bring up the little girl alone.
I couldn’t believe my own eyes; the little darling was Wender all over.
It’s strange how these kids manage to affect your life, especially those whose lives end far too early due to the lives they led on the streets...
Wender’s father always kept telling me how strongly he felt the spirit of his lost son in his home after he’d departed from this earth under such tragic circumstances. Roaming the house at night, banging the doors and windows, constantly reminding him of his previous existence!
“He wouldn’t have done that if he had died peacefully, you know!” his father would always say to me in a bitter voice.
Along those lines, one particular episode comes to mind, when even I felt the energy of Wender’s presence in my own home. After all, he had lived there for almost a couple of years during his initial recuperation from the streets. It was as though the portrait of him smiling, which still hangs on my living-room wall, kept calling my attention. The “vibrations” were really strong that particular Sunday, so I decided I needed to pay Wender’s family a visit. Immediately!
Off I went in my car and arrived at their humble home, a simple brick shack in the urban outskirts on the other side of this mega city São Paulo. The unfinished house was as always surrounded by scrap metal and old busted cars. Wender’s father was a scrap metal dealer and his front yard certainly bore evidence of the fact. In the middle of the yard was an odd-looking black and white van, one of those where you open a service door on the side, converting it into a kind of street vendor kiosk for selling Hot-Dogs and the like. Painted on the side of that van was the very same portrait I had hanging on my living-room wall.
Well, you can understand my surprise on seeing that same picture on the side of this strange little vehicle standing amidst the scrap metal strewn all over the front yard of their home. Still intrigued by the sight of it I called upon Wender’s father to ask about the van and why it had been decorated in this rather unusual manner. Surprised to see me, he explained how he had restored the van from the old “bits and bobs” he had lying around; pieces taken from other scrapped cars in his yard.
He had constructed the van in memory of his beloved son and had dedicated the vehicle to Wender’s spirit of survival. Work and a steady income was difficult as usual, and he still had many children to feed, so he custom built the car so that his wife and daughters could sell hot lunches wherever they could find a parking spot and someone to buy from them.
The only big problem was that there was no money left to buy the raw materials they needed to start off on their little fast-food enterprise...
Well, I suppose you can guess the rest….
On hearing his explanation I immediately understood the reason for Wender’s “call” from my living-room wall. Describe it as whatever you like, but the fact that his message got through to me can’t be neglected.
Anyway, we ended the day with a great barbeque of spicy pork-sausage and beefsteak made on the hot plate installed in the van, purchased with some of the funding I had decided to contribute towards this grand cause. Although I think we ended up eating up the profits during this first trial round, but it was all worth the effort and the jolly good party to inaugurate the van in Wender’s memory!
Wender’s father had a little too much beer to drink, but was obviously overjoyed by what his son had achieved. His mother smiled all over her face with the realization of their little enterprise and on seeing everyone so happy.
On leaving the family in such a happy state of mind, I went away thinking about how this former street kid, who had made such an impact on our lives, was still leaving his mark around, including the legacy of his lovely little daughter to constantly remind us so.
God works his wonders in so many unexpected ways.........