(Montrose, CO USA)
I first heard of Helen Keller in the third grade, and was just amazed by her story. I couldn’t imagine anyone going through life not only blind but deaf too.
The following summer, I met my cousin, Candace, from California for the first time. I had never been told she was deaf, and at first had no idea what I was going to talk to her about. It was over a card game of goldfish, that I brought up Helen Keller, and I was amazed by how much she accomplished. Well, my cousin just smiled and started talking so loud and so fast I had a hard time keeping up.
“There are worse things than being deaf,” Candace told me. “Yeah, it makes it a little harder to communicate with some people, and you have to be a little more careful around stores and stuff, but I’m the same as you.”
The summer went by quickly, but I soon learned that Candace didn’t have a disability, I did. She could read people better, was better at remembering little details, and just better at communicating.
She helped me look at people a little differently…instead of sympathy or pity, I’m now curious to hear about all the things they can do better–just like Helen Keller, who adapted and accomplished so much. And Ms. Keller also helped me gain insight to my cousin’s world.
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