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Against All Odds
I was sitting outside, my fingers laced in the cool grass, the sun warming my cheeks, the breeze playing through my hair. With a tap on my shoulder, I turned around to face my love. He smiled the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. It was crooked and a bit too toothy for most, but it was perfect to me.
Daisy nudged my arm with her wet nose. Daisy was his Seeing Eye dog. I smiled at Daisy and scratched her neck. I looked up at Jonathan’s blank eyes and followed them as he lowered himself slowly to the ground. I smiled to myself. He has always been there for me. He is my best friend.
I love him.
But he will never know that. I couldn't tell him. I didn’t want to lose him, and I was pretty sure he didn’t feel the same way…
I watched his soft lips as he spoke.
“What does it look like today?” He asked.
I smiled again.
“Well,” I started. My throat was dry, but I continued. I had been practicing a lot with my speech therapist. I thought about what the therapist had said.
“…You still sound like a tone deaf Brit with a major stutter, but you are getting better….”
I concentrated on my tongue and throat as I had been told.
“The sun is b…bright. The light is f…flowing through the leaves. They’re starting to change colors. Do you still…remem…remember that?”
Jon smiles what I think is a soft, sad smile and he nods. He’s probably imagining it now, pulling at the fading memories from his five year old eyes. When he lost his sight, his mom made him think about what he had seen, so he could always remember it. He still does remember, but it’s fading.
I hesitantly put a comforting hand on his, but then he pulls me into a hug. We just sit there like that for a few minutes. Daisy watches us, wagging her tail.
I’d say, Journal, that that was a pretty good day.
Cassidy’s first entry:
My name is Cassidy Phillips. My German grandmother calls me stille, meaning silent. I was silent because I never learned how to talk. I live in silence because I cannot hear.
I am ‘stille’ because I am deaf.
But I am learning to talk.
I am learning for him.
And maybe someday I will tell him, in his language.
Jonathan’s first and only journal entry:
My name is Jonathan Adams. I am ‘leben in der Finsternis‘, as Cassidy’s grandma says. I am living in the darkness because I am blind.
But I am learning to see her language with my hands.
I am learning how to speak to her.
I am learning for her so she doesn’t have to struggle with my reading lips.
And maybe someday I will tell her, in her language.
I love you.