CREDOS:The unknown — III
I sat down on the bed with Lily, and her little fingers started flying. I shrugged my shoulders to let her know that I was lost. She smiled sweetly and then started to use her voice. She explained how it was easier to breathe when she let her fingers do her talking.
Over the next couple of months, I spent a lot of time with Lily. As I got to know Lily’s dad as a father and as a husband, the crush changed.
Now I was falling in love with his daughter. She taught me so much: not only how to sign, but also how to appreciate each moment in my life.
She laughed as I made believe that I was hurting myself by knocking on my head too hard. And she would sign, “You hurt yourself just as much when you really do worry.” She was wise beyond her years. Besides giving me her love, Lily also gave me direction. I went on to get a bachelor’s degree in special education with an emphasis in deaf education.
I remained friends with Lily and her whole family throughout my college years and beyond. The crush I had on my college professor served me very well. I learned a great
deal about life at the hands of a young child.
Some years later, I was asked to sign the Lord’s Prayer at Lily’s funeral. Everyone there told stories about how this one small life made such a big difference to so many.
And, as Lily taught me when she showed me the sign for I love you, “Make sure when you use this sign that you really mean it."