Emmi does not speak clearly. She can't. Her soft palate is not formed correctly. It is our to-do list of surgeries. But some words are okay. Ones that begin with M sounds, for instance. Or have "ah" or "oo" sounds in them. Kenny, Jill, and I have learned to understand her. Most people have to ask me to translate.
Jill has taken up scrapbooking. I got out the photo albums to let her pick out pictures for her scrapbook. Afterwards, we were going to CVS to make copies of the pictures she choose. Emmi and Jill got side-tracked. They never realized I had so many photo albums of pictures. Their whole lives in photos. That I arranged in order. They sat for a long time looking at photos. Some of them. Some of family members. Some of me and my friends through the years. Emmi pointed to each person, named them, or demanded to know their name. She'd ask, "Oo's ah?" Jill turned the page. It was a group shot of several of my friends from a birthday party. It was the night Kenny got my number. The girls knew a few of the people in the picture.
"That's my Stacy," Jill exclaimed!
"Enny!" Emmi excitedly pointed at Kenny's picture.
Then her hand slid across the page. She became very excited. She was pointing at Matt. My friend who died a few months ago. "MATTHEW," she yelled, in perhaps the clearest voice I have ever heard her use.
I started to visibly shake. Jill asked what was wrong. Then she wanted to know why Emmi thought that person was named "Matthew."
"He is, Jill."
"How did she know that!" Jill asks me, confused, because she knows most people that Emmi knows.
Except I don't have an answer for this. She had never met him.