Hand in Hand with Bubby

Bubby had come to visit. Packed in her suitcase were not only clothes for her trip, but also the memories that she shares with each of her grandchildren. She spends time reading books, going for walks and playing games with each child.

And I, her daughter, watch and soak up all the warm fuzzy feelings. Nostalgia kicks in, and I remember those special times of being carefree and curious about the world and all that’s in it.

I savor the scene of Bubby with Chaim Boruch. They enjoy a closeness and bond that is unique and loving, full of laughter, playfulness and the incredible language of silence. Chaim Boruch snuggles up close to her, and I can see complete contentment in his sparkling eyes.

There’s one thing that Chaim Boruch loves most when Bubby comes. It’s the special walks that she takes him on around the block. I would imagine that it’s not only the breeze in the air, the sun shining, or the scent of freshly cut grass that he adores, but rather the feeling we get when walking hand in hand with a person we adore.

No matter how tired Bubby may be or how recently she has arrived, I’ll find the two of them lost in some silly game or warm cuddle. It was during a moment like this when I saw Chaim Boruch try to communicate with Bubby that he wanted to go for a walk.

Needless to say, it is challenging for us to know what he wants without words, and frustrating to try to fill his needs and wants without knowing what they are.

Yet on this day, all things magnificent shone and all things miraculous blossomed. I knew that Chaim Boruch wanted to go for a walk. BADLY.

He was nodding his head, gesturing with his hand to the outdoors and using American Sign Language to try to sign “please” with excited motions.

However, Bubby would never have been able to understand what he wanted, and so I stepped in.

“Chaim Boruch,” I said. “You need to use your iPad to say what you want, otherwise Bubby will not know. Please use a complete sentence, and ask Bubby your question.”

I paused. Holding my breath, I prayed for him to be successful. I prayed for him to understand, produce “words,” and communicate and share what was in his heart and mind.

I watched as he sat next to Bubby with his iPad. Bubby’s eyes were moist with wonder and emotion, in awe of the endless possibilities in this moment.

Chaim Boruch navigated through his communication app, looking for the correct words and icons. Despite the fact that he cannot read and had many categories to sift through, Chaim Boruch’s little finger swiped, scrolled and clicked to produce an incredible sentence.

And within minutes, his iPad announced the words he had chosen. Slowly, with thought and deliberation, Chaim Boruch said: “I WANT GO WALK WALK WALK PLEASE.”

And there it was, the biggest and brightest smile ever! His face glowed and his eyes shone. The pride he felt filled the room.

Within minutes, I looked past the front door and, against the backdrop of the sun slowly beginning to set, I saw the silhouette of Bubby and Chaim Boruch holding hands. A picture engraved in my heart forever. A walk that could span the world’s longest journey in the steps taken around the block.

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