Friday, March 16, 2012

Where did I find Helen Keller’s quote?

While sitting in the doctor’s office a few weeks ago, I opened up a glossy magazine. I can’t remember the name of the magazine. On the last page, amazing words, written in red, curly-cue lettering, formed the shape of a heart and filled the page. I unzipped my bag, pulled out my wrinkled grocery list, and turned it over. I couldn’t find my pen so I borrowed one that sat on the counter. I quickly jotted down the words from the magazine. 

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. - Helen Keller (1880-1968)

The words ring true. Most of us know who Helen Keller is, yet I want to share more about the woman from Alabama who lost her sight and hearing before she was two years old. 

Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome, a husband and wife team, wrote a beautiful children’s book titled Helen Keller: The World in Her Heart. James Ransome’s vivid illustrations reveal the emotions and the heart of the story. The story details how the beauty of life is celebrated through our senses and shares Helen Keller’s journey. Water was the first word that Anne Sullivan, Helen's teacher, spelled into the palm of her student. Helen quickly learned other words. Fortunately, a network of caring individuals surrounded her. My family enjoys reading the book, a gift from my daughter’s grandparents, because of the historical and meaningful message. 

I was tempted to research additional information about Helen Keller on the internet but, instead, decided to dust off one of our encyclopedias (our neighbors are moving and recently gave us their entire set). Within two years of learning the word water, Helen learned to read and write in Braille. Helen's teacher eventually accompanied her to Radcliffe College. Helen and her teacher worked together, dedicating their lives to helping the hearing and vision impaired. Anne Sullivan devoted her to Helen and died at the age of 70 when Helen was 56 years old. Helen published 12 books and several articles throughout her life. 

One person, with encouragement, can make an impact. Thank you, Helen Keller.

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