~MY BEAUTIFUL MOTHER~
This is my mother on her wedding day. She was 21 years old and by all accounts the darling of her local church. Immensely talented and even a bit shy, she was smart and funny, loving and kind. She grew to be a protective older sister and was fiercely loyal to her parents by the time she met and fell madly in love with my father. She married him in November of 1955.
When my Mother was just a young woman, maybe around the time I was about five, she began to show signs of hearing loss. This of course became a big concern for my Mom and her family as both her father and younger sister were living with profound deafness.
~EVER GROWING HEARING LOSS~
When I was still a very young child I remember having to speak to my mother in an elevated voice.
~ME AT 5 YEARS OF AGE~
By the time my sister, Jenny, was born my mother wore hearing aids to help navigate her way through a hearing-world.
~MY SIBLINGS and I - 1968~
The older we grew the sounds of silence began to take over my Mother's life. Oftentimes she misunderstood even the simplest of statements. She stopped singing in the choir and using the telephone was completely out of the question. Her deafness even led to the loss of several jobs...
~MY BEAUTIFUL MOTHER TODAY~
As my Mother's hearing loss progressed she was ultimately diagnosed with Hereditary Nerve Deafness...the same disease that afflicted her father, sister and other members in our family.
Somehow, no doubt through God's Grace, she learned to live with her disability and came to accept the frustrations that often come with such physical limitations.
One of the things I've missed experiencing with my Mother has been talking on the phone. There was a time when volume controls on a phone's headset were enough for her. But, later in life her as her hearing loss grew worse she required a TDD/Relay Operator when needing to chat in an emergency situation . Even though our family was grateful for this technology (A TDD phone is where is speak to an operator who then types out your words on a special phone, but you can hear the person talking back to you) it gave us little privacy. For the most part, all those who love and adore my Mother have relied mainly on email. It has been our primary source of communication for many years now.
Well...I'm over the moon excited with the fabulous news....
Recently my Mother qualified for very costly computer/phone equipment I personally believe should be made available to all those who are deaf and/or hearing impaired. Yesterday she used her brand new "CapTel 800I" Telephone by SPRINT for the very first time. She no longer needs to go through a relay system to talk on the phone and called me without having to use a special operator. My Mother can now speak to me in a normal voice while a computer immediately recognizes my spoken words back to her and prints them out!
Can I tell you how thrilled I was to hear my Momma's voice on the other end of the phone? I can dial her number and hear her voice whenever I want! My hubby came in and said "Who are you talking to?" and I said
Thank you, SPRINT!
Thank you, God! He indeed made a way when there seemed to be no way...
Love to you this beautiful Sunday...