Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day. It is a very special day for all women - a day to remember mothers. Even if you never gave birth to a child, it is in a woman's nature to nurture other people. And to appreciate those who have nurtured them. I am truly blessed. I have had many Godly women in my life who have loved me, encouraged me, and influenced me in many different ways. I could not begin to name them all but the most important one for me was my mother. So, I am thinking about her today and all the other women who are so important in my life.

I miss my mother very much but I see her gentleness and generosity of spirit in my sister and my niece (and my brothers and nephews, too). She taught us all so much about how to treat people and her desire to help others is with me every day. I would not be where I am today in my life if it was not for her strong faith, strength, confidence and determination. Several weeks ago when I was preparing for my first visit with Dr. Merwin, I was going through my file that Mom had saved for me with my audiograms, letters, documents, newspaper articles, notes, etc. I had tears in my eyes just reading her notes with her familiar handwriting. I miss her so much. She was my best friend, prayer partner, and confidant. She lost her battle with pancreatic cancer in 1992 at the age of 58.

I was almost two years old when I was diagnosed with my deafness. There was no explanation or family history of deafness. As God said to Moses in Exodus 4:11, ". . .who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." My being born was no accident or mistake. I know that my parents were deeply discouraged when they found out that I could not hear but they NEVER gave up on me. I had the privilege to grow up in a loving, Christian home. God gave me two wonderful parents who did everything within their power, no matter what the sacrifice was, to help me be a part of the hearing world. They were told by doctors and professionals in the speech and hearing field that I would never be able to have a normal life and that I would never be able to talk or amount to anything. Mom and Dad were determined to prove them wrong and continued with their plan to teach me to read lips and to talk. Sign language was not a part of that plan so I never learned it, except to sign to music later in my adult years.

The challenges of growing up in a hearing world was often very overwhelming for me and still is at times. I know firsthand the frustration of trying to understand what people are saying when I cannot read or see their lips. I also know what it is like to misunderstand others and be misunderstood. My first word was probably "what?!!" Despite these difficulties, Mom was always there for me. And she still is, in a way. I believe she is my guardian angel, watching over all of us.

I will close this message with a quote that I found a few weeks ago written by Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1855) who was an American writer. She wrote, "The woman who creates and sustains a home, and under whose hands children grow up to be strong and pure men and women, is a creator second only to God."

Thank you, Mom. I love you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's ok that your first word was probably "what?!" - my mom tells me that mine was "poo". Yes, lovely I know. She had a potty mouth toddler. ;)

Leah S