Please allow me to digress......
This wonderful person is my daughter, Nicole. Nicole was born 25 years ago today. She was also born deaf/blind, along with other difficulties. Difficulties for some, but it seems, not so much for Nicole.
When she was born, we were just like any other parents, shocked and upset and not sure how we would cope. We were advised to institutionalize her, etc, etc. However, for us this was not an option. We brought our angel home and did the best we could. We also had twins at home who were not quite a year older than Nicole, who adored their new sister and to them there was nothing wrong with her and they were right. Yes, there were difficulties, and it was not a bed of roses, but it was not a bed of thorns either.
It was Nicole who taught us how to reach her, in many small ways, but her first step was by creating a sign herself by tapping her shoulder 3 times when she wanted more food. We now had our first tangible indicator she understood us. Through numerous painful operations and spinal taps and lord knows what she soldiered on not complaining. Had it been me, I'm positive I'd have been screaming. Her little delicate hands waving and exploring her world dancing like little ballerinas, across surfaces tentative and then assertive. She now has an extensive abstract tactile sign language, which she eagerly uses. She tolerates our slowness to understand her at times. She demonstrates unconditional love every day, with her friends, her caregivers and especially her family. I refer to her as a healer because she has an innate ability to know when you are having a bad day, and give you a hug, we have had neighbors who have just come to our home for a Nicole hug. Her brother and sister have always been tolerant and accepting of others because of their sister. She has taught me so many things it is hard to list them, but two of the most important being; I have more strength of character than I knew, and she has taught me to see with not only my eyes, but with my heart.
Happy Birthday Sweetheart