We’ve just had Christmas and today it’s New Year’s Eve. Like most people we’ve had parties and dinners. For about 20 years I blundered through these things, using the ‘hope I’m smiling right’ smile so I didn’t look too stupid or hopefully to indicate I was understanding and being part of the group. And then I had my first Cochlear Implant. I’ve enjoyed excellent hearing for about 10 years now and what a different it makes.
Without my hearing celebrations at this time of year would be onerous. We had 15 people for Christmas lunch, some of whom I was only marginally acquainted with, yet I could easily converse, even with a 90 year old. I could hear people ask me for drinks or tell me about their year.
However, the biggest celebration and joy in the past week has been the birth of my first grandchild. A grandson – Bailey David. (I do have 4 bonus grandchildren, but I have found there is an additional excitement when a grandchild is a direct descendant.)
Because I could hear I heard the phone ring and could take the phone call to say the baby was on the way. I received the call which told me I had a grandson. And extraordinarily special…’Mum how soon can you be at the hospital?’ I arrived about an hour after he was born and was the first relative to share the joy with my son and his wife and give support because the birth had been more difficult than expected. But amazingly important, I could hear Bailey’s breaths, his small coughs and snuffles and his newborn mewling. What a joy and special experience.
Of course, a newborn means the new parents are distracted from their usual life. My son owns a Pizza Bar and of necessity it is open in the evenings, the very time he wants to spend with his wife and new son. So Mum (me) and Dad get to help out in the Pizza Bar (we are very cheap!!). Again, if I couldn’t hear I couldn’t take orders from customers at the counter, nor hear the warning ‘Oven Down’, or hear the other staff telling me what they need or to check if something is cooked it would be extremely hard to help at this time.
While, when I was deaf, I did know how much I was missing out on, I can only continue to marvel about how much I can hear with my Cochlear Implants and how rich life is because all these small moments, which so many people take for granted, are mine to enjoy.