Be part of the 'we'

Dec 13, 2017

Recently, the family of one our CoughDrop communicators shared this incredible story.

It's kind of the perfect message for this time of year -- and all the other times as well.

(Shared with permission.)

"My daughter, Becca can't speak, and it takes a lot of work for her to pick words using her eye tracking computer, so she tends to be very strategic in what she says.

"Last week there was a Christmas party and they had all the kids go up on the stage to sing. On the way up someone offered to help lift her chair, but Becca had said she didn't really want to go up on the stage. I wheeled her up, then found an empty seat. It looked a little sad with her down by herself in front, but I smiled at her and our other kids while they sang Christmas songs.

"About halfway through, our neighbor, Cindy, went up and knelt by Becca and they sang together. Becca likes to lock eyes with someone else while they're singing, it seems her way of singing along in her head. Cindy has been singing with Becca for a few years like that, and it's always a special thing.

"When we got back to our table, Becca smiled and said just one word, but it made a big impression on me.

She said 'we.'

"I don't know if she wanted to say more, but that word was very deliberate, and I couldn't stop thinking about it.

"Sometimes we take 'we' for granted. Who are the people who think of you as a 'we' -- as an important part of their lives?

"Are there times when you maybe end up more as a 'they,' not really connecting?

"Having a disability can be a very isolating thing, and people with disabilities often end up as a singular and separate 'me.'

"But when I think about the importance of human connection and gifts of love we can offer, it's hard for me to think of a better measure for how we're doing than to look at who thinks of you as a 'we.'

"The people who Becca calls a 'we,' I'm not afraid to say, have a seat with their name on it waiting up in heaven."

May we all do better at being a true part of the 'we' for the people in our lives -- especially those who need our care and support.

Melissa DeMoux

Former CoughDrop Director of Marketing and Support -- worked with AAC communicators & teams