A Lady’s Continuing Courage

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She’s a bundle of enthusiasm, in her late 20’s. And she enjoys life, I mean really enjoys life.

Why is that important?

Because she has been deaf since birth.

At six weeks she was wearing hearing aids. Or should I say her mom was trying to make her wear hearing aids.  She was more inclined to take them out and chew on them.  Not once did she heed the hearing aid battery manufacturer’s warning that said not to put the batteries in your mouth.

Finally at six months she figured out that the hearing aids were her connection to the rest of the world, and decided to use them for that purpose.

Her brother who is a little older was also born deaf, but it took the doctors two years to determine that. She benefited from her brother’s condition because the doctors knew immediately to check her hearing.

I’d like to tell you her name.  I can’t because of the sensitivity connected to her job and the company she works for.

I can tell you she’s a therapist. I can’t tell you what kind.

I thought her story was so important for moms and children who are deaf from birth to read about exactly how she and her parents both overcame it, I felt it was a necessary read for them along with anyone else who might have an interest in it.

How did we meet?  One of those chance encounters in the grocery store where she is looking for an item on the top shelf, and it’s a little bit of a strain to reach that high, and it’s not for me.

We talked maybe 10 minutes, but I knew then I had to write her story.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology, and a Master’s Degree in Therapy.

She first worked for a company that treated people with severe disabilities.  She normally interacted with them at the premises of the company, and was very successful in seeing that they had the proper medical equipment they needed, which often meant an argument, sometimes heated, with Medicare, Medicaid, or Blue Cross, or a combination of more than one of those.

At one time her job took her inside a hospital for inpatient therapy with all her patients she took a keen interest in, particularly those who had suffered brain damage or a stroke.

What she likes most is the flexibility she has for the company she now works for. Sometimes her days are full to the brim, but she can arrange in whatever sequence is most convenient for her.

I was overwhelmed by her enthusiasm in the grocery store, and you must remember I have seen it all in my day as a writer in several genres, including features. To say I was overwhelmed is in and unto itself overwhelming.

I like the philosophy that her mom gave her to make it through this sometimes cruel, cold, and uncaring world. “Be your best self.  Don’t let anyone tell you differently”.

Those are words that would give anyone a power surge, to recharge your batteries in about 15 seconds, and send you sailing out the front door, saying, “World, you are not going to beat me, you are never going to beat me.”

She had a cochlea implant put in one ear last year.  She showed me the video of the first time the doctor’s office turned it on and she could hear with it for the first time. Pure shock that she could hear so well compared to a hearing aid in each ear. She plans to have a cochlea implant in the other ear.

She has a sense of humor.

At her age, boyfriends have to be a topic of conversation.

Her first one didn’t want to make a commitment to a monogamous relationship.  She told him to take a hike.

Second one I couldn’t believe. She paid for everything on a date, for a year and a half.

I had heard of that before, but it took the lady only four months to figure out the situation.

I looked at her and said, “Surely you did not support this guy on your dates for a year and a half. This guy was a bum”. She buried her head in her hands.

I added perhaps I misunderstood her.  She laughed that laugh that said she knew she should have known better.

So I called her by her real name which I am fictionalizing here, “Penelope, Penelope, Penelope, do not tell me this is all so, this is all true?”  She had that guilty laugh.

She finally sent him to the dumpster.

I’m here to tell you though, things are looking up.

She went home for a wedding or some such.

At the reception she was bringing up the rear end at the food table.

She looks up and there is this fellow who looks somewhat familiar, but not altogether. Then it dawns on her. Her family and his family have known each other for a very long time.

This is not the greatest pickup line I’ve ever heard, but she says aren’t you Clayton (fictitious name)?

A light bulb comes on in his head, and a fluorescent light in her head.

They start discussing the fact they have known each other so long without really knowing each other.

He had recently moved back to the hometown of both of them because his job allowed him to do so.

They sorta looked at each other googled eyed, although since Google is now a business entity, I’m not sure if looking at anybody Google-eyed is allowed anymore.

Maybe they just sorta stared at each other for brief intervals. How unromantic that sounds.

What about they stole silent moments of the countenances of each other?  Naw, too stiff.

What about they were both thinking this could be something big?  Still not romantic enough.

What about cupid shot an arrow into her heart.  Being a therapist she would have said, “Ouch, that hurts.”

What about their transfixed glazes of each other could not be ignored. Semi-romantic.  Guess we’ll have to settle for that.

She did make an impression on him, although not the one he probably had in mind.

This was a high-class affair, and she saw him picking up a piece of meat with his hands and putting it in his mouth.

She shook her head at him, which in ordinary mortal souls is not romantic.

He countered with, “I can’t find a fork”.

She countered with, “Such a guy statement.”

Surely something romantic was about to be said.

Nope.

He said, “That’s awesome”, which doesn’t seem to have any romantic value at all.

She said, “I hope you enjoy your food”, which is totally void of any romantic implication, denotation, or connotation.

Then she left and went home.

Her mom e-mailed his mom, old friends for a long time.  “Something’s going on here”.

Stay tuned.  There has to be some romanticism we haven’t come to yet.

She has said she will keep me updated about her current about-to-be, perhaps, maybe, conceivably possible, more-than likely boy friend

When we get to the romanticism, I will try to keep from reporting it too mushy to my readers.

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