Erin Polk runs Kreed’s World (www.facebook.com/kreedsworld). She writes: It’s about a teen who is nonverbal and his journey as we continue to teach him communication, self-help and our journey as a family. When he got his most recent communication device, his world opened up and he connected with us like never before. I’ve written letters to Kreed that I hope to read to him one day. None is more heart-felt then the first.
Kreed’s Beautiful Voice
by Erin Polk
How many months have we stared at your sweet face begging you to tell us what’s wrong? How many days have we wiped away your tears as the pain and frustration is too much? How many years have gone by since you’ve been locked up inside? I stare at you in wonderment now. Communicating. Telling us your thoughts word by word, phrase by phrase.
I can remember laying in front of you begging for you to tell me what’s wrong. Begging you to let me help you. I’m sorry I didn’t know what was wrong. We had to decode your behavior and have less clues to work with than on the Medical Mysteries! How we wished you could have some words, any words, some way to tell us.
Instead you told us through your anger, your fear and your sadness. You told us through the wounds on your hands, the bang of your head, the pounding of your feet and the tears you would cry. Your silence has been deafening. Your voice lost.
Here you are today, telling me you don’t feel well. Your head hurts. Telling me your sad when you remember things in the past. Telling me your excited when you do something fun. Turning to a peer and asking her if she’s seen the movies you like. Requesting anything and everything you want. Finally knowing some of your favorite songs. You’ve found your voice. Maybe not in the way we thought or used to want, but we hear you loud and clear now buddy.
No more silence. No more waiting to hear your thoughts. No more wondering if we will ever know what’s inside of you. You never have to go unheard again. We can hear your voice. And it’s sweet, and sensitive and funny. Priceless.
I’m sorry for all the times we’ve failed you, talked about you in front of you like you weren’t there or ignored a communication attempt. I’m sorry it took so long to give you a voice. I’m sorry it took so long to give you a choice in everything. And I’m sorry I didn’t take your device everywhere sooner- you deserve to have a voice no matter where you are, not just when it’s convenient for me.
I’m sorry for not understanding sooner. I’m sorry so many people hurt you in your life and didn’t understand you. I’m sorry some people still don’t understand you and probably never will. I’m sorry for anyone that has ever treated you like you were less and I’m sorry when I can’t protect you from the people who make you feel that way. I will always fight for you and fight for your voice.
I love hearing your thoughts and your voice. I’m sorry when I get mad and frustrated when you have trouble understanding why you can’t have everything. It’s been a long road to get to here. I will continue to walk beside you and help you and lead you anywhere you want to go.
I’m sorry for when I will let you down in the future or lose my cool, but I promise I will make it up to you and try harder. I promise to hear your voice no matter what, no matter where we are and no matter what we are doing. I promise I won’t let anyone silence you again. We hear you now and will never let that voice go silent again.
We love you for all that you are and for who you are going to be. We love you through the silence, through the tears and pain and through your successes and happiness.
I hope at the end of all of this, you will know how far my love goes. Here’s to you dear sweet Kreed, who has finally found your voice and it is beautiful.