Aya Kito-san of 1 Liter of Tear tells us a reason we live
This 1 Liter of Tear was made based on real story.
It is more than 10 years ago and it was first time for me to see serious non-fiction movie at a movie theater.
It was really good I could see this movie as I felt I was taught very important thing through this movie.
Development of disease
Aya Kito-san was an ordinary girl who goes to junior high school.
But her mother notice something is strange about her walk one day.
She fell down in the street and hurt her face one day.
Her mother takes her to the hospital and there her mother is told that this is all because of spinocerebellar degeneration.
The doctor told her that she will not be able to walk, stand, write and even speak in the course of time.
Support of Friends
It was getting harder for her to walk and to speak but she was blessed with her friends at high school.
They always helped and supported her saying we are friends that we are equal.
She must have been very happy but she also tells in a diary that “friends are equal but that is not always true as I can not chose the way like other friends”.
I think she wanted to think herself as equal but she also knew that she can not recover from the shock when she knew it is impossible wish in the end.
So she regards herself as not equal at the same time.
She met with Yukiko Senpai one day.
Yukiko Senpai was very straightforward person and says “you are crippled, don’t you”.
But she also tells her “you should ask others help without hesitation as we all support each other in this world”.
Most of us are really worry about the word to choose as it might hurt the feeling or see the one something different although we care about the one.
Yukiko Senpai told her the things we can not say easily as an equal human without hesitation.
She didn’t separate her as disabled person but tooke her as an equal human.
It is great attitude and I also thought what she want was to be treated as an equal human.
Owner at Bakery Shop
When she was going back from school with Yukiko Senpai, she fell down and hurt her face.
It was in front of a bakery shop and the owner came out and call her mother.
The owner noticed she is disabled and asked her mother if she is OK as she has to continue going back home alone from school like this.
Her mother had a job that she could not pick up at the right time when the school finishes.
The owner tells her mother she can take Aya-san at her store until her mother pick up after job.
Her mother first declines it as it becomes a burden on the owner but accepts the offer in the end by the owner’s strong claim.
It was such a generous offer of her.
Thanks to that Aya-san stays at the store everyday after school until her mother picks her up.
It was a good scene to see Aya-san’s friends also drop by on the way back from school and enjoy talk all together.
Leave high school for special school
Aya-san loved school although it was becoming harder to go to school with the progress of her disease.
One day teacher comes her house and tells her parents to take her in school like now might be difficult anymore.
Her mother says does it mean school kick her out?
Does this the way school work?
The teacher tells it is difficult to improve the facilities in school for her in the terms of budget, too.
Then friends can help her like before I thought.
But it might be also difficult thing to expect friends always to take care of her.
And her disease was getting worse that it might become too late after something happens.
There might have been no other choice although it must have been hard choice.
Yukiko Senpai and Aya-san walk back from school one day and Yukiko Senpai asks her “what do you want me to tell you?”
“Do you want me to encourage you saying no worry for life in special school?”
She tells her to choose the way on your own, not to regret is most important.
Yukiko Senpai looks really reliable person and her anchor.
Strict rule and teacher at special school
Special school treated disabled students as same ordinary people even if they are disabled.
Rule is rule that they need to be punctual for time, too.
Teacher Sato looked like strict to students especially.
When Aya-san fell flat in the hallway, she didn’t help her but said stand up by yourself.
She was such a strict teacher, students were afraid of her.
One of the students Atsuko-san talked back her one day saying you should help student.
She talked back instead of her friend who asked the teacher for help but refused.
Atsuko-san said “you normal people never know how hard we are.”
“We are disabled after all, we never be able to independent no matter how we try hard.”
“Normal people can not understand our treatment in the society after we leave the school.”
The teacher replies “yes, we can not understand but what’s the use of it to ask for help before you challenge it just because you can not do it.”
Importance of achieve something on one’s own
The girl who asked for help was all for tailor of costume they use at recital.
They had recital to perform on stage in school.
She makes costume after class and Aya-san and other friend join.
They help her.
Atsuko-san also joins and 4 of them make the costume.
They managed to make costume and finish the recital in safe in the end.
Teacher Sato said great job.
Student said “we are sick but we could do it.”
Aya-san said “we were always on the side of watching people do, but we could do it.”
Atsuko-san thanked teacher Sato saying “we could do it on our own.”
It is easy for teacher Sato to help and to be kind to them.
But she knew it is not the point but most important thing is they achieve things by themselves and they themselves feel they can do things.
So she was always strict to them, there was this certain reason.
Goes back to hospital
After leaving the special school she enters hospital.
She gets rehabilitation there.
She tried hard there and there were other patients who got energy from her.
Her never-give-up attitude encouraged them without her notice.
However her disease developed that she couldn’t stand, speak, write properly anymore.
She once asked the doctor if she can marry but the doctor tells her the truth.
She thanked the doctor for telling her the truth and the doctor hugged her.
Her mother frequently visited her although she couldn’t wake up on the bed anymore.
She told her she still want to live.
In 1988, Aya-san left the world for good.
Aya-san ended her short life of 25 years.
The words Aya-san left
She once told her friends at the bakery shop that she is happy she can help the owner.
At that time she could still move that she could help the owner for easy work.
I think that was easy job which can do without move and the owner must have worried about her as just sitting inside shop all the time is boring that the owner asked easy job in the way of communication and for a change for her.
The owner told her that she need to pay her for her help.
But she refused saying “I am rather happy to be of other’s help.”
“Top of I’m happy, if I take your money God will punish me.”
She also left other words.
“The idea I changed was that I can do things which I had not thought I can do before because of my serious disease.”
“I want to live on, I can not move or can not be of other’s help, still I want to live on.”
What I felt after watching the movie is a question of what do people live for or what’s the hardest thing in our life.
I found that one of the hardest things is when the one felt he or she is worthless in this world.
When the one feel I am not helpful to any people, he or she lose something to live for.
She was often saying I want to be of help to others.
And before she passed away she said I want to live on even though I might not be able to help others anymore.
Before I watch this movie I did not give disabled people a deep thought.
They are people who were born with disability for some reasons and should be protected or taken care of by society.
My thought was like that and actually I had few chance to meet with them in my life, too.
Seems like I was separating them without notice.
Once I was talking with my friend about something and I said to her it is a happy thing we can enjoy our life healthily like this.
She replied me yes but there are people that is not normal even if he or she has no physical defect.
I thought it was certainly true there are certainly people who have mental defect even though they have no physical defect.
In the first place what is defect and which is normal?
Physical thing and look are the thing that define the one normal or abnormal?
I really felt she was normal rather great person who faced to her disease and wished to live to the end.
I know there are many hard things to physically normal people including I, too but I always want to remember her attitude towards life.
There was certainly a girl who wished to live on but couldn’t no matter how she wished.
Not only she but many others in the past and even now.
The day we live today is the same day they once wished for.
She might said she want to live on even if she can not help others but it was not true.
Because she helped and made so many people to think through movie.
Without the dairy she kept, this movie could not be made.
Her life itself became the worthy thing.