Pondering on and on
It was early in my hard of hearing adventure. I was still reeling from being suddenly stricken. I was queasy and despondent, trudging each day with ever fading hope that my hearing would somehow miraculously return. The doctors already assured me that it would not.
Holding on to false hope when you know it is false is a terrible place to be.
But I kept waiting. Holding on to false hope when you know it is false is a terrible place to be. I was physically whipped, having suffered multiple bouts of vertigo that rendered me ever off balance and, it seemed, perpetually nauseous from the spins. So strange. Motion sickness without the motion. Ugh. I felt so sick. So defeated.
My vocal chords ached too. Whenever I attempted conversation, I wasn’t speaking; I was screaming, desperately determined to at least hear me, hear me. Co-workers, friends and family, with not-so-veiled pity, kindly counseled to tone it down a dozen or so decibels. I was mortified.
I was screaming, desperately determined to at least hear me, hear me.
Scared too. Piercing fears stabbed relentless splinters of new heartache. How do I regulate my voice when I can’t hear myself? Would my speech be forever altered too? What about my job? And the kids; if they cry to me for help, I won’t hear them. I can’t even call them. No phones. No music. Birds without chirp, dogs with no bark, fireworks without a bang. My daughters’ laughter seen, but unheard–will it be the same?
No. Of course not. Nothing will be the same. How will I live my life constantly trapped in cold dark silence without going crazy? And so I pondered on and on as I sat on my porch in lonely despair looking skyward.
The sound of wind
It was a beautiful day actually. The weather I mean. The sky was deep dark blue. Pure white puffs of wispy cirrus adorned the stratosphere high and away. Each cloud on high rolled swift and true in perfect sync with the lower winds that grazed my twisted brow. And so I watched and strained. The leaves were fluttering. I always loved beholding the wind, feeling it and hearing it.
I loved beholding the wind. Do you even notice the stentorian thunder of it’s mighty roar?
Oh so precious is God’s audio in nature taken for granted. Like the gentle humming of a warm zephyr pushing past the dancing branches of a backyard beech tree. Do you even realize that we mesmerize the bronze-yellow glory of each autumn leaf, not so much for it’s still color, but for the gentle purr of it’s flickering? Or when standing in gust’s mighty wake to brace the pending storm. Do you even notice that we respect the awesome power of sudden gail forces, not due the wind’s velocity, but because of the stentorian thunder of it’s mighty roar?
How crystal I knew in that cruel moment. God’s precious audio aired no more.
Yes, yes. It is the sound of wind that captivates. Most people don’t even tune to it; much less appreciate it. But I did. Oh how crystal I knew it in that cruel moment when God’s precious audio aired no more. I can’t hear the wind. Of all things, that’s what did me in. My heart crippled. It was the terminal stake that stabbed gigantic to finish me.
Bouncing from bottom
Every man has his bottom. That was mine. My hearing loss was complete. And so was my devastation. It took many months of rehab to pull my physical act together. And the doctors were right; the hearing never did come back. Many of those early fears came to pass. I lost my job and then couldn’t find another. And my wife and kids took secret worry that poor deaf dad can no longer provide.
I am stronger. And certainly more grateful than I have ever been. Especially now.
The isolation was maddening. And the strain to understand anything and anyone sapped my spirit to the quick. Oh sure, I bounced back. A little. Mostly because I had no choice. And I learned a lot, especially about acceptance. I came to appreciate that my road was planned by Forces bigger than I. And although it was painful; there were many lessons. I am stronger. And certainly more grateful than I have ever been.
Soaring and transformed
Especially now. It has been four years since that “dark day” when I couldn’t hear the wind. Yet, the image of the stunning sky– so incredibly blue– has stayed with me as well. I was in hell on earth that day. But the same wind that tortured me with silence on the ground, pealed visual brilliance as it pushed the clouds in heaven gently past. Even in my woeful squaller, I could not deny the beauty of God’s handiwork far and away.
My road was planned by Forces bigger than I. Even in my woeful squaller, I could not deny the beauty of God’s handiwork far and away.
Close up too. Two weeks ago, I left the Ear Clinic in San Antonio Texas. They had just turned on my Cochlear Implant and a burst of unrelenting new sound filled my brain with awe. As I walked outside, a gust engulfed me with a high pitched shrill a bit different from what I remember; but still it was unmistakable. It was the roar of the wind!
A soaring rapture filled me as I gazed the same brilliant sky that captivated me so long ago.
I looked up and across the parking lot and past the dancing branches of a nearby hedge. And a soaring rapture filled me as I gazed the same brilliant sky that captivated me so long ago. Those deep wounds of yesteryear were transformed in that magical moment to one of the grandest joys I have ever experienced. Ever.
I am graced beyond my wildest dreams. Not only can I hear the wind, I get it. Forged by blessed deprivation, God’s precious audio now peals more glorious than I ever imagined. Thank you friends and family for your love and support during this amazing time.