“Hello sweet thing.” They weren’t exactly strange words to hear. He was my boyfriend after all. But what was strange were the words I thought I heard…
“Hello wheat thin.” What?! Why on earth would my boyfriend call me a wheat thin?!
It was the first moment when reality sunk in…
“I am hearing impaired.”
That Christmas my Aunt drew my name for gag-gift giving and gave me a bag of Wheat Thins with the words “Welcome to the club” written across it. Our hearing loss is genetic, passed along from one generation to the next… gradual loss beginning in our late teens to early 20’s, and potentially continuing until complete deafness. My sister, my mom, aunts, uncles, grandpa; a whole club of us. But at least we could laugh together. They all understood, because we each had our own first moment.
My uncle’s first always gives me a good giggle: It was while driving in the car with his dad, who pointed to a passing fence line saying “look at that hog on the fence post” and my uncle thought, “Really? How would a hog even get up there? Or balance?” (Envision it friends, and giggle with me.) Until he saw the perched hawk dart back into the sky. And that was his moment of accepting reality… “I am hearing impaired.”
20-ish years ago my grandpa was the first in our family to have the incredible blessing of receiving a cochlear implant, and he experienced the joy of hearing the birds sing again. Eventually his children received the same blessing. And now this 3rd generation of my family is beginning to experience the same emotional joy; my sister received the cochlear implant just before Christmas. For the first time in more than 20 years she is able to communicate without reading lips.
A peek into our normal:
My nephew put this touching video together, which captured my sister’s first moments of sound with her implant. May it bless you with great appreciation for the simple gift of hearing.
God is good! All the time!
Shared from my heart ~ Stacy