Notebook

Light Struggle

Gigi De Palo and Anna Chiara Gambini spoke today of discovering, four years ago, that their newborn son, Giorgio Maria, had Down’s. There and then, in hospital, they looked at each other, said Gigi, ‘with complicity’, exchanging a glance in which the whole history of their love was contained. And embraced with joy the child given them. They spoke unsentimentally about the struggle it involves to raise a child gifted in this way, but it is, Anna Chiara insisted, a light struggle – ‘Una fatica leggera’. In objective terms it has weight, yet the heaviness is lifted by the love circulating between parents and child, and drawn forth in others. We were told about Giorgio Maria’s singular ability to enable others to respond to him with love. The presentation amounted to an empirical validation of Christ’s saying, ‘my yoke is easy and my burden is light’. The yokes and burdens we carry can seem overwhelmingly our own, yet they can become his, so eased and lightened, if we call his loving presence into them.