She never spoke to anyone, anyone but me. Why the others couldn’t hear her, I could never tell. Could it be because they ignored her most of the time? Maybe it was because she really couldn’t talk and I was imagining it? I doubted that it was; most likely it was because the others refused to stop for a moment and listen to what she had to say.
She didn’t speak in terms that most of us understand, although I heard them loud and clear. Instead of verbal communication it was her actions that spoke all that needed to be said. She was disabled years ago, no one really knew why. One day she just stopped talking…verbally that is. Most people thought she was strange and intentionally tried to avoid her, but I saw what a truly amazing person she really was.
To have the great adversity she faced daily, the looks of disdain, the people laughing in the corner, the inability to verbalize her thoughts, the insecurities, the difficulty of everyday tasks, the pain of realizing that for the rest of her life she would never be considered normal or accepted, and yet, to be able to get up in the morning and face another day of life and all it’s cruelties, this brought my heart to tears. She was far from average, she was an amazing person who had the strength to face life, head on, with or without the help or acceptance of those around her.
In that way, she communicated to me. Sure, she never voiced herself, but I could hear her loud and clear. She was telling the world to forget cliques, stereotypes, adversity, acceptance, life’s little boxes that it loves to put us in, and live life to the fullest, no matter what the cost. Life is not an easy task, yet she taught us to have courage and face life with no regrets. She had more to say to the world, without a voice, than most people would ever say with one. Yet the world passed her by. They were oblivious to her message, because they were all too busy imagining her as weird, just because she failed to fit their picture of “normal.” No one heard her, but me.
This is dedicated to those amazing people in each of our lives with a disability, no matter what it is, maybe autism, a missing limb, downs syndrome, tourettes, or some brain condition that is yet to be diagnosed. They are the people that still find the courage inside themselves to face life, regardless of acceptance or being “cool”, and overcome the things that could easily hold them back from living their life to the fullest. May we each learn from their examples.