Monday, August 11, 2008

She in There, She Know

It's so difficult to get a really good photo of Sophie, but I took this one last week in Hilton Head. She generally doesn't respond and look at the camera when I ask her to and her eye contact is intermittent at best. But here, she's actually looking straight into the camera, and doesn't she just look beautiful? Her beauty is in the eyes, their deep expression. This kind of glance isn't hard to get when you're actually with her. Although her eye contact comes and goes according to her seizures and how she's feeling, when it happens those deep brown eyes are like pools that you can just about drown inside of. She's looked at me that intensely many times, and I have to believe that her indomitable soul is free in that moment, completely aware and intelligent.

I took Sophie many years ago to a Chinese woman who practiced acupressure. Her office was in her home in the mid-Wilshire area, an innocuous white apartment building with absolutely no character. I don't remember this woman's name but I remember that she was a funny and stubborn woman who made strong pronouncements against Western medicine and who at one point told me, "you really good mother. I couldn't do what you do. But you need to calm down." Anyway, during the first visit, she asked, "Does she talk?" When I told her that no, Sophie was nonverbal, she asked, "How old Sophie?" I told her, "Five." She quickly exclaimed, "Five! No talk? That's late!" I remember thinking good Lord, Sherlock, we have a problem here. But I was always willing to try anything new that might help Sophie, and I had heard wonderful things about this woman.

Anyway, it wasn't long after that this doctor took my hand and said, "She in there, she know."

The story has been told a hundred times, and the phrase used thousands of times. This photo, to me, is evidence. I know it, too.


  1. I see her, too. Ashamed to say, for the very first time, Elizabeth, I do see her.

  2. She's beautiful, she really is. This post was so inspiring, so sadly hopeful...

    You are a brave, strong woman to a brave, strong little girl.

  3. Gorgeous girl, that Sophie.

    "Good Lord, Sherlock, we have a problem here" is my new favorite phrase.

  4. Beautiful story and beautiful photo! Also, I believe I know the woman's name if you ever need it.

  5. You do have a beautiful daughter...blessings to you for your patience and love.

  6. Yes. Sophie is stunning. Your heart can get sucked into those eyes and drown for a beat or two, huh? Captivating. Like her mother.

    I'm glad you re-posted this. I'm sure i wanted to comment last time i read it, but couldn't find words.

    They still fall short, but nonetheless here you go.

  7. Well Elizabeth. I'm new to your blog and I don't know you or Sophie very well at all. Not even in that strange way that we can come to those who only speak with us via words on a page. But I'm with that doctor.

    Your daughter is beautiful and well, I'm still catching up with your family's story, her Sophie's, with yours, but I believe what you did then. And still do now perhaps? In the indomitable soul.

    1. Thank you Catherine W, for your kind comment and for visiting my blog. I know that I've been visiting yours -- I think I "found" you on Kate Inglis' blog. In any case, I hope to get to know one another better -- the communities I have found online are so amazing.



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