A couple of years ago we decided to add on a few days in Paris to our usual trip to Ireland. Both Arden and I had wanted to visit the City of Lights, so we asked Nick if he wanted to go to Paris. He said “Yes, we see the sights.” So of course we were intrigued as to what he might know about Paris and asked him what sights he wanted to see.
It is fun to watch him thinking about answering a question. He counted two things on his fingers as he said, “the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa.” The Eiffel Tower is iconic to Paris so that I could understand, but the Mona Lisa? How on earth did he know what the Mona Lisa was and that it was in Paris. I did want to visit the Louvre, but I had no idea how Nick would respond to being in a museum. We had never taken him to a museum before.
Well he loved it. We spent hours wandering through the various exhibits. But the first place we went was to see the famous painting. It really is small in comparison to many of the other paintings on exhibit. We got there first thing in the morning, but the room was already full of people waiting to see the Mona Lisa. We went to the back of the line and slowly made our way to the front. As we approached the rope that is used to control the crowds, the security guard came up to Nick and Arden and invited them to come inside the secured area to view the painting. Nick was so happy. He and Arden spent about 15 minutes studying the portrait, within just a few feet of the security glass. Finally Nick said, “I done, let’s go.”
I have no idea what his thoughts were about viewing da Vinci’s mysterious woman. He hasn’t been able to articulate that. I was surprised first of all that he even knew about the painting, and secondly, it surprised me how long he was engaged in viewing it. Even now, he remembers that he saw the Mona Lisa and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
It is experiences like this that have solidified our understanding that there is much more going on with Nick Gremmert than is deduced by just looking at him. We have learned to expect the unexpected. Just this past week, his longtime neurologist, re-affirmed that Nick has far exceeded his own expectations, especially in the area of speech and communication. We agreed with the doctor. Nick continues to amaze us as well.
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