Between Friends - Dreams

By Doreen Barber


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"Dreams have only one owner at a time. That's why dreamers are lonely."  - Erma Bombeck

Dreams, whether we are awake or asleep, help us sort out a path on which to travel. Some dreams have to be put to rest permanently; others allow us to develop the art of waiting patiently. 

Dreams unfulfilled are a private loss dimmed daily routines.   Many dreams die by adverse circumstances, while others are born out of adversity. 

Helen Keller was born June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. An unidentified illness took her hearing and sight when she was 19 months old. She became wild and uncontrollable due to her inability to communicate, learn and interact with others.

Almost as well known as Helen Keller is the work of Anne Sullivan, who became Helen's teacher in 1887, working in a role that today is known as an intervener. Helen finally learned that things have names when Sullivan had the famous "water breakthrough," finger spelling "water" into Helen's hand and pumping water for Helen to feel. After that revelation, there was no stopping Helen. She went on to attend a school for the blind and learned how to talk, how to lip-read with her fingers and, eventually, graduated from Radcliffe College. She always lived with either Anne Sullivan (and for a few years, Anne Sullivan's husband), or Polly Thompson who joined the household in the 1930s and stayed on after Anne Sullivan passed away in 1936.

One of many quotes Helen Keller is famous for is, "deafness is a greater affliction than blindness." She passed away on June 1, 1968 having achieved what most in her day thought to be impossible. Her ability to dream the unfeasible and illogical has paved the way for generations following her. Today, it is common for deaf and blind people to live independently and to achieve their dreams.

"All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."  -Walt Disney

SENIOR LIVING VANCOUVER - May 2009

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