You hear your child’s voice every day. When they get home from school, when they yell, laugh. You notice they sound younger on the phone. You want to memorize the baby babble, the squeaking of puberty, the funny jokes or stories they tell. You videotape them to hear them sing, remember their words, their thoughts.
Voice is how we communicate and show our love. Saying “I Love You,” “See You Later,” “I Miss You,” even humming. It’s part of what makes us unique as people.
Imagine knowing that you won’t be able to hear that voice for a while. I’m talking about a couple weeks at least, maybe more. There’s that fear that it might be forever. You talk and talk, not wanting to stop, because in the morning your child–the one you raised through loving words–will be having surgery to remove cancer from his tongue. Part of what he uses to speak, to share his views, his feelings will be gone. It’s anxiety-provoking, isn’t it?
Today, this is happening to someone who I now consider a friend and is very special to me. As I write this Nick Heald is in surgery. Will I hear his light laugh again–Will his family? The surgeon will repair his tongue so that he will be able to speak, he will be able to laugh, cry, eat, drink–all that we take for granted, But Nick will need to learn to do everything all over again. And this is the second time he will have to go through this incredibly hard journey.
I’m thinking about all that Nick has to offer this world and it’s immense. Nick’s smile warms a person’s soul and he easily welcomes you into his life. His family has such a happy and positive synergy that I love being around them. Right now his world is filled with uncertainty. But I am certain of one thing. If love can cure cancer, certainly Nick will be home in a couple weeks recovering and he’ll be talking, eating, and laughing. Life will settle again so that he can tell his family how much he loves them. Of course they already know that, but they will cherish hearing him say the words.
We are praying for you Nick. If anyone would like to follow his special story and send words of encouragement visit his Caring Bridge website at