I’m trying to think of ways to begin this blog and oddly, all I can think of are words from songs. Odd because most people don’t expect songs to be on the mind of a deaf person. But not so odd at all, because I’ve learned that music can be a vital part of a deaf person’s life and though I’ve felt so accomplished in finding ways to trick myself into thinking I’m still hearing it, it’s not that big a deal. I’ve seen what other people can do and I’m humbled by their achievements. At the beginning of June, Darling Hubby and I saw a play in Manhattan called “Incredibly Deaf Musical.” It was written by and starred Jay Alan Zimmerman, a composer who was born with normal hearing and suffered hearing loss as an adult. The show was about his life and loss of hearing and how he found music again, and though, of course I’m not a composer, I’ve never seen anything that came so close to what I’ve been through.
Watching the show, I realized what life has been like for my husband and children, for they, too, have been living with my hearing loss over the years. They’ve gone through it with me, all the way from mild loss to complete loss, yet somehow I never really realized how hard it must be for them. I’ve been so busy struggling and trying to cope, I never saw the whole picture from the outside and never thought of it as “our” loss. It was always “my” loss. I cried through this beautiful and heartwarming show and at the end when Jay Alan came out to meet and greet, I was too choked up to even speak to him. So I did what I learned to do – I used sign language to thank him. You don’t have to be deaf to enjoy this show, but if you know someone who is, you may end up with a whole new understanding of what they go through. And if you’re deaf, you may end up with a new understanding of what your loved ones go through.
But life is not all about being deaf. That’s probably the best sign of coping and adjusting – when you don’t think about being deaf all the time. For instance, you hear the Beach Boys are touring again and Brian Wilson is peforming again after all these years, and without stopping to think you buy tickets. And go. And still enjoy the show even though you can’t hear it because you’re there, it’s a beautiful night, you’re with the one you love most in the world, and you’re an incredibly lucky person. The good outweighs the bad and isn’t that really what we all hope for? More good than bad?
There has been sadness in my life this year, there has been loss, there have been challenges. But life is not meant to be one smooth road from here to there. It’s full of bumps, twists, and turns and in the end, it’s not what happens that tests who we are, it’s how we handle what happens. We can take the high road, we can take the low road, or we can take no road at all. The view from the high road is pretty darn good and there are a lot of wonderful people to travel it with. I’m grateful for those who travel the road with me, I’m grateful for all the good in my life, and I’m grateful for how I came to be me. I can’t ask for much more than that.