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To My Nonverbal Child, From Your Mother Who Waits

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Dear Conor,

With your soft baby voice, I heard you say, “Mama, Mama.” What I’d do to hear you say my name again. I remember you calling my name for a little while before all your words faded away. I don’t think anyone can ever prepare a mother for the realization that she may never hear her child’s voice. I had no idea I’d wait years for your voice to come back to me. I’m still waiting, and I always will be.

I dream so many nights that you can speak, and we talk all night about the things you’ve wanted to say over these past years. We stay up all night laughing, talking and hugging. We cry a little, but they’re happy tears. You tell me why sometimes you cry quietly to yourself, and why you laugh so happily when you hear “your” songs come on the radio. You tell me why you only like certain drinks and foods. You answer all the questions I’ve asked you over the years, because even when I thought you didn’t hear me, I realize now you were always listening.

I tell you every day, “Mommy loves Conor,” and sometimes you smile back. Your eyes beam as they look deeply into my own. At those moments, I know that no spoken words could ever speak as loudly as the way you look at me.

I don’t know why, but when your 5th birthday was coming up, it really hit me hard that it had been almost five years since I last heard your lovely voice. I just remember driving along the road, crying to myself and picturing the number five. When your words went away many years ago, I believed you’d be speaking when you turned 5. Your 5th birthday came and went, and your beautiful voice did not come with it. You had a lovely party, but I remember crying in the bathroom that day because I realized sometimes dreams may not come true.

But then you gave me that special smile — the one you give when you want to say, “Are you OK, Mommy?” It reminded me that we “talk” in our own special way. A lingering hug and a kiss upon your beautiful head reminds me how loved you feel and how much love you have to give each day.

Tonight and every night before I go to sleep, I make these wishes. I wish that you will always know how much I love you. I wish that the world will always be kind to you. And I wish that someday, if I my dreams ever do come true, I will hear your beautiful voice say, “Mama” just one more time.

But I love you and will love you forever, and I know you love me, too  whether your words come or not. You don’t ever have to say those words for me to know.

Follow this journey on The Little Puddins Blog.

Originally published: October 31, 2015
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