Many months ago, before Emma began communicating, I sat across from my friend Renee at lunch. We talked about life and our passions. I wasn’t sure I had much passion left in me to be honest. I was, and have for years, been consumed by this thing called autism. I suppose it could have been considered a passion of mine in a way. Renee has been the best friend and mentor, also having a child with autism. I mean, I didn’t even know what a blog was until she showed me one! She has a blog for her photography, which is not just her business, but also her passion. I remember saying that I would have no idea what to blog about. These were some hard times for me. I told her that if I ever did start one, maybe it could be about how I saw God in my life every day….that maybe that would help me through the tough times and remind me of love and to keep my hope alive. I guess I never did write that blog….or did I?
I thought of this conversation the other night when Emma once again astounded me with her depth. I’ve been wanting to use the keyboard on the dynavox, but now she’s so used to the touch screen on the ipad that she’s not able to push on the dynavox screen hard enough. This flustered me. It felt like one more obstacle getting in the way of my ultimate mission – complete independence for Emma.
I had decided to attach the keyboard to her dynavox, which is something I’ve been trying out because she would be able to hear the words she types. We sat on the couch and found a great position with the keyboard on Emma’s lap tilted up. She reached and found the keys, pressing them down with such amazing precision that it really took me by surprise! And I was just barely holding her arm below the elbow.
Emma: Quit worrying
Don’t assume as we go on a treasure hunt that we won’t find treasure
are you worried
Um, More like speechless once again! Her words take me to some other place that makes me wonder why I was worried at all. She was even self-editing with the backspace when she made a mistake. And she was using the spacebar!
Me: “Not really…not anymore, I’m not.” It couldn’t have been any more true in that moment, but I had been worried before…and would be worried again. I’m always worried! And before that moment, I was concerned when I saw that she couldn’t hit the letters on the dynavox. I felt panicky and thought once again to myself “What if she isn’t able to do this?! What if no one believes her? What if I can’t get her to that level?”
Me: “Are you worried?”
Me: “Do you ever worry?”
Emma: yes (she went on) understandably reasoning is yearning to please the usual people
I was fairly silent through all this – what could I say? She kept typing….
Emma: are you yearning to twist your world apart
This question struck me. Not only was she asking me so many questions, but they were profound.
Emma: applaud the will of God any time you worry
This was such a simple yet powerful message to me. If I was trying to hold back my tears, I did not succeed.
Me: “Sometimes, I feel like God speaks through you, Emma. Do you ever feel that way?”
Me: “He lives inside you doesn’t he?”
I felt my heart melting. It filled with such a warmth and peace that it washed away all that worry. What is it all for anyway?, I asked myself.
I asked her if I could share this “chat” on our blog and she typed “yes”.
Me: “What should we call this entry?”
Emma: treasure hunt
Me: “I like that. What photo should we put with it?”
Emma: haggard ropes treasure in a chest.
I am so humbled by this journey. In the midst of all my internal chaos and stress, I find that every day when I look at Emma, I see the face of God – I hear that voice beckoning me through Emma’s fingertips – calling me to another place. Treasures without end.