During the retreat two students presented original writings  — Anna read a letter she penned for her presentation and Ben recited a poem he drafted during a time of reflection on our final day.  With their permission, the two pieces are reprinted below.



Dear Somebody,

You are a somebody.  No matter how many people treat you like you are less than a person, you matter.  I know your teachers treat you like you are stupid, but you can do anything you put your mind to.  Even though the world acts like it doesn’t want you, God does, or He wouldn’t have made you.

Deaf people can do great things.  They can see more of the world around them – not just because their eyes are sharper, but because their hearts are more perceptive.  You can see and understand things that I never will.  That’s the most wonderful thing about you.  You can show the world how to really see.

I wish you could know how much you add to our lives.  Your laughter is the most beautiful sound on earth.  You don’t hold it in like hearing people or make it sound a certain way.  Your laughter is pure and I cherish every giggle.  I am sorry that your teacher doesn’t sign every word to you.  I wish you could hear the nicknames she has for you.  Mi amor, mi hijita.  She delights at the way you puff your cheeks when you talk about airplanes in the sky, but for some reason she doesn’t let it show.  The signs she knows how to show are “no,” “bad” and “pay attention.”

She keeps a stern look on her face, but that’s because she cannot see and understand the way you do.  She doesn’t know what a sensitive heart you have.

I am sorry that your parents don’t sign either.  It’s sad the way they ignore you.  Mommies and Daddies can be really great.  I promise that even though they don’t use your language they love you and all their thoughts are full of you.

I want you to know that there is a big world out there.  Beyond the walls of this school and out of the box people try to fit you in are endless possibilities.  You don’t have to sit on your hands, you don’t have to turn off your voice, you don’t have to shove hearing aids in your ears.  Keep your mind on those possibilities, dream big dreams for you, leave the box behind.  And when you make it out, and the world is at your fingertips, reach for it.  And then remember that you have something to offer us all.


Your Hearing Admirer, Anna




 If I were a tree,

What kind would I be?

As a falling leaf,

Could I be set free?

Where would I go,

And what would I touch?

Floating through the sky

Seeing so much.

Impossible gravity

Always pulling me down,

And yet always a wind

Blowing me around.

If I were a tree

What kind would I be?

Sky, gravity, wind

And their influence on me.