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Little Annie


Many years ago a girl known as Little Annie lived in a mental
institution outside of Boston. Her room was like a dungeon. It received
little light and even less hope. According to doctors, it was the only
place for those who were hopelessly insane. During Little Annie's time
in the dungeon, an elderly nurse who was nearing retirement believed
there was hope -- even for the "hopeless." She would take her lunch
down to the dungeon and eat outside the cell where Little Annie was
kept. She felt that she could, perhaps, communicate some love and hope
to the little girl.

In many ways Little Annie behaved like an animal. On occasion she would
charge at the person sitting outside her cell; other times, she would
sit in the corner ignoring her visitor. One day the elderly nurse
brought some brownies and left them for her. Little Annie gave no hint
that she knew or even cared that they were there, but when the nurse
returned the next day, the brownies were gone. Every Thursday, from
that time forward, the elderly nurse would bring Little Annie brownies.

Before long doctors in the institution noticed that Little Annie was
changing. After a period of time observing her, they decided to
"promote" her to another wing of the institution. Eventually this
"hopeless" case was told that she could return to her home in the
"outside" world. Little Annie refused to go. She wanted to stay and
help others who were facing the kind of adversity she once faced. Many
years later, it was Little Annie who cared for, taught and nurtured
Helen Keller.

Little Annie was Anne Sullivan, and Helen Keller, as I'm sure you know,
changed how the world viewed the disabled and challenged. When Helen
Keller was in a soft spot, it was Anne Sullivan who handled her with
care. When Anne Sullivan was in a soft spot, it was an elderly nurse
who handled her with care. The world is a different place today for the
physically and mentally challenged because of an anonymous elderly
nurse who handled with care someone in a soft spot.

Author Unknown


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