Just Because I Can't Speak
Holly has never spoken a word in her life – the only sound she makes is laughter. In 1991, at the age of two, she was diagnosed with profound mental retardation. Currently she still requires 24/7 care including support with dressing, feeding and bathing. She is sweet, intuitive, gentle and silent. She is a die-hard Denver Broncos Fan, loves taking hikes and laughs when the wind brushes her face. Miraculously, in 2011 she began typing on a simple keyboard. Finally unlocked, she expressed her insight, wisdom and a deep desire to teach about love. Laboriously with the support of a personal aide, Holly types with one finger at a time, forming words that become sentences laced in grace and love. In November 2012, Holly typed “Just because I cannot talk doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say.” At that moment, her family promised her that her words would be shared around the world. This book is her labor of love, sharing from her heart and longing to be understood, seen and heard.
The photography featured in this book is from an exceptional artist - Aubrey Dreher. As cousins only two years apart, Aubrey has been photographing Holly for several years, capturing her beauty and essence through the lens of love and her camera. Growing up, they created life-long memories while hiking, attending church, dancing and learning about life together. They love and trust each other deeply. Aubrey and Holly laugh easily, and Aubrey was committed to capturing Holly’s personality through pictures. Aubrey started a photo collection called “Tuesday’s with Holly” featuring extraordinary images of Holly, just being Holly. Many of these images can be found in Holly's gallery.
Excerpt from Holly's book:
Within a year, a tsunami of wisdom cascaded from Holly's reservoir of love. We did not see it coming, Through a series of serendipitous events, Holly began to communicate by typing on a simple keyboard. With masterful training, support and guidance from Dr. Christi Kasa of the University of Colorado, our family was introduced to this alternative communication method called Facilitated Communication. Dr. Christi facilitated Holly's communication, laboriously supporting Holly as she pecked, one finger at a time, words that soon became sentences. One of the first sentences Holly typed was "No more grape jelly." I cried
The pages of this book feature words written by Holly. For almost twenty-two years, this beautiful, curious and silent woman had wisdom trapped in her body. For anyone who has ever felt silenced, oppressed, abandoned, scared and invisible, this book will bring you strength and encouragement