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Tales Of An Educated Debutante

on life, loss and the joy that rules the day.


The future is far away and scary, but today is lovely.

Adrian H. Wood, PhD

He Still Cannot Talk

He Still Cannot Talk

Friday, January 01, 2016 Adrian Wood Comments (0)


He still can not talk.

Wow. Talk about a flag that I need to go ahead and raise or rather, throw out my car window while speeding along the lonely highway 17 in eastern North Carolina. As soon as I think I am doing pretty well, I take another hit. Not from anyone in particular, mind you, but my own psyche that loves to play tricks on me and the devil who believes he is the ultimate mastermind and just uses the same old tricks which have been found to be effective for each of us according to our weaknesses. I have a tendency to try to manage things myself, whether it be children or convincing myself that I do not need God to handle my problems. Mind you, I lack success in this effort and am reminded of my childhood self playing whack a mole at the old JungleLand and never winning more than 5 tickets in this defeating symbolism paralleling real life more accurately than I could have ever imagined.

Amos. He is happy, he is joyful, he loves music, he adores playing chase, he can grunt almost any song that meets his fancy but his vocabulary is extremely limited. At ten months he espoused Mama, a mainstay in his vocabulary though I hear it much less often now as he works to communicate what he needs, wants, likes, and dislikes. At 26 months he can say more, no, and a semblance of all done, hi, bye and donut but really more and no are his only two words that others would understand. He is quick to pick up signing but his mama has been slow to learn it and it is on my agenda for the new year as I so want him to be able to communicate. Please please talk, Amos. I want to know what your mischievous eyes are saying to me, what you want to do today, what sibling is your very favorite depending on that said moment. I feel sure we can help him communicate his needs, wants and dis wants (as my husband says), but I want to hear him talk.

Want, want, want versus need, need, need. Such a frustrating game that leaves one feeling selfish and greedy. I was raised with this lesson as it applied to a new baby alive, Sony Walkman, snoopy snow cone machine, lots of material possessions that I coveted but was told, not so discreetly, I did not really need them. I wish the lesson could have extended into items of the heart though I doubt I could have ever been prepared for a dying big brother. A big brother so sick that he did not speak the last several months of his very short life. I guess it is all relative, speaking was not even a want at that point as I had learned at age 14 that the difference of need and want was a game of the highest stakes. I thought I needed my brother to live and to be alive and to be healed. But alas, like the snoopy snow cone machine just a few short years before, I did not receive what my heart desired. Was I angry? No. I really never was as I always knew God loved Adam more than I did and that he did not wish death and suffering on anyone. The comfort I felt from the cross was given freely, what I so truly needed at that moment. The last words I ever heard Adam speak were, "I only love my sister". It was a phrase we practiced in the Boston hospital over Easter as my parents left us together as they went to church, seeking solace.

I guess I must realize that though I so desperately want Amos to talk, I don't really need him to. I'm thankful to be reminded that He provides all we do need despite the lessons that have been so tough and seemingly cruel I can hardly write about them 25 years later without a flood of tears. All I have ever needed I have received without any doing on my part and I am so thankful for this kind of love, one that I can hope to emulate but will never master while on this earth. I will continue to remind myself that it is okay if our Amos does not talk. Not so much remind but rather, repeat this acknowledgement over and over until it becomes something I can believe in my heart. Never losing hope and with much faith, accepting that my idea of need will always be skewed without putting God first.

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