#deafness

SOUND

It was my first day back at work…I was behind the counter in the store…when a woman pushing her baby in a stroller walked in through our front door.

 

I greeted them as I always do…Mom nodded when I caught her eye…and I waved to her baby…who waved back…as he went rolling by.

 

After shopping for a while…perusing every shelf…she was ready to buy three books for her baby…and one book for herself.

 

Children’s books during the month of July are all to be sold tax-free…and because of the system in our store they have to be rung up separately.

 

As I was explaining this to this woman she stared blankly and pointed to her ear.

If I was reading her body language correctly…she was telling me she could not hear.

 

So I looked at her and spoke more slowly and clearly…hoping she could read my lips…but she just shrugged her shoulders, still staring blankly, with her hands upon her hips.

 

And I realized the reason she couldn’t understand my words had nothing to do with clarity or speed…it’s because…with a beard and a mustache…I have no lips to read!

 

Thankfully she was patient with me even though she didn’t understand a word from our little chat…then she made a sign for writing…hey…given time I might have thought of that!

 

So I picked up pen and paper and began writing her a note……but I was a little nervous…I wrote too fast…even I couldn’t read what I wrote.

 

I help up the note an again she shrugged her shoulders…I looked to the baby who waved to me and then…I threw away my first note and began to write again.

 

This time she smiled and nodded…I think even her baby understood…perhaps he’s a bit precocious…I imagine Mom and baby both would have agreed my handwriting was atrocious.

 

But we muddled through and I held the door as they walked out into the crowd…

The mother walking in silence…while her baby was quite loud.

 

As I watched them walk away I was hit with a feeling so profound…wondering what it must be like to live in a world devoid of sound.

 

To miss the everyday sounds around you…the voices…the bird as they soar up to the sky…to never hear the melody of your baby when he sings or laughs…or cries.

 

How some of us are born lucky…we can hear and speak and see

while others have to overcome the capricious hands of destiny.

 

As I watched them fade into the crowd…two thoughts struck me as I slowly turned around…

how I need to work on my penmanship 

and how I’ll never take for granted another sound.

 
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WHISPERING HANDS

There are a myriad of reasons he loved his mother…

From the pancakes she made on Saturday mornings to their walks along the sands

but what fascinated him the most was how she could smile with her eyes 

and the way she whispered with her hands.

 

His mother was deaf…she could not hear…

which meant words were hard for her to say…

so in order to communicate…they had to find another way.

 

So he learned to listen to her eyes…

he learned her eyes could say so much….

and in the confinement of her silence

he discovered the wonder of her touch.

 

Her eyes spoke of her joy, her fear

her surprise…her sadness too.

and on those days when he needed it most

her eyes said, I love you.

 

Her hands were a comfort to her, 

and offered him comfort too

and when she took her hands in his

he felt them whisper…I love you.

 

And though his mother never heard his words

and her words were forever hard to understand…

all his life he saw the love spoken by her eyes

and heard it whispered through her hands.

 
 
 
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DO YOU BELIEVEIN GOD?

As they watched a field of flowers gently swaying in the breeze

sitting mesmerized and awed

A young girl looked at her dad and signed.

“Daddy, do you believe in God?”

 

Her father paused a moment

stroked the hairs upon her head

then looked into her eyes

“I do.” He signed and said.

 

“Do you ever wonder why,” she signed 

as from her eye he saw a tear

“why God would put me into a world

in which I cannot hear”?

 

“When I think of all the sounds I’m missing…

all the music…all the songs…

I wonder…did I do something to hurt God’s feelings?

Did I do something wrong?”

 

“Oh no honey.” Her dad signed softly with his hands.

“Some things in life we just don’t know…

we may never understand.”

 

“None of us are perfect…I don’t think we’re meant to me

but you don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful to me.”

 

“When it comes to your hearing…I don’t know…

though an answer you are owed…

Perhaps it’s so you wan’t take for granted 

the other gifts you’ve been bestowed.”

 

It’s true you have no hearing…

and that problem is severe

And you will never have the chance to hear 

the beautiful things I hear…

 

“But perhaps without your hearing 

you see the world with more clarity…

And there is a beauty in your silence that I will never see.”

 

“Someday, perhaps, we’ll have our answers…

Until then by however we view beauty may we be awed..

And know every time I see you…he signed

 

I see the hand of God.”


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