I am oh so blessed. I have many friend, and among the most special and dearest are 13-year-old Elizabeth Bonker and her beautiful mother, Virginia “Ginnie” Breen. Points East
Elizabeth has autism, onset when she was three years old. She has an IQ in the 160’s but she can’t speak. Ginnie is a venture capitalist in New Jersey and she can speak — and does so at every opportunity — on behalf of Elizabeth and all parents who are coping with autism.
Determination, persistence, absolute faith, and resolution are just a few of the words that describe Ginnie in her pursuit of a cure for Elizabeth because she is absolutely sure there is one. In the meantime, Elizabeth expresses herself by writing poetry on a laptop computer and a letter board.
I sometimes fear
That people cannot understand
That I hear
And they don’t believe I go
To every extreme
To try to express
My need to talk
If only they could walk
In my shoes
They would share my news
I AM IN HERE
And trying to speak every day
In some kind of way
Elizabeth speaks, but she does
not vocalize and she wants to do
that more than anything. I have
not done justice to the way the
poem should flow on this page,
but it is one of more than 100 that
this genius kid has included in the
book written by her and Mom. You
will need a box of tissue when you
read the book. Ginnie will make
you think hard. Elizabeth will
make you weep.
Ginnie Breen is bound and determined to find a cure for autism.
I know her well enough to tell you
that if it can be done, Ginnie is the
person who will make it happen.
And I do believe with all my heart
that Elizabeth will find her voice
and someday talk my ears off.
One of these days the phone
will ring and the voice on the other
end will say, “Surprise! This is
Elizabeth Bonker,” and I will have
to wipe my eyes on my shirtsleeves
because I’m all out of tissue. Then
I will ask if she has written a poem
about me and she will recite it. I
can’t wait. It’s going to happen.
Ginnie has taught me a thing
or two about faith, and I already
know that Elizabeth is a poet’s
poet. But the book is not just about
autism. It is a story of courage and
determination that will leave you
spellbound and inspire you in
other tribulations. It is a testament
as to why we should never give
up on God. And it is the perfect
description of Moms who never,
ever give up on their children. You
will fall in love. Trust me.
If you want to gain or give
somebody else some courage,
give them a copy of “I Am In Here.”
This is a book that you will keep
and tend not to loan out. If your
sister wants to borrow it, tell her
that you have it on your Kindle
and you have already bronzed the
hard copy. Surely you do not lend
out your Kindle, do you?
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