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
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.