I remember being at my grandparent's house for the holidays that year. I remember the faces, the outfits, the smiles, the food, the gifts. But I couldn't tell you a thing that was said. It was like being in a glass case watching the world of interaction around me wondering what all the smiles, laughs, and giggles were really about.
This was hard on everyone around me to watch, particularly my grandparents. They knew that I would soon be hearing something and were anxious and hopeful to see what that would bring. Throughout my journey into the world of CI hearing my grandparents were always interested, amazed, and thrilled to see how well I was doing. It means the world to me that I was once again able to converse freely and openly with them.
This past June I called my grandma to wish her well in an upcoming operation to take place while I was in Honduras for the week. We probably chatted about 15 minutes, and because I know her voice so well I didn't struggle at all to understand her over the phone. I didn't know it then, but it was the last time I would speak with her.
Over the past two years, thanks to my CIs, I have a handful of experiences and conversations with her that are forever engrained into my memory. She was always cheerful, welcoming, and compassionate. The way she said, "Well, how are you? So good to see you! Oh bless your heart!", phrases that will always echo through my head when I think of her. Not too long ago I wondered if I would forget what those closest to me sounded like. Now I know their voices will be with me always.
My grandma was 84 years old. She had been married to my grandpa for 66 years. We'll gather this weekend to celebrate her life, but that won't be the end of her memory with me. Cochlear implants have blessed my life and experiences immeasurably. When I started blogging last year about this journey I'm on, my grandma would print out every one of my posts and keep them in a folder. That's how special my hearing was to her. It meant so much to know her grandchild was able to interact in a personal and emotional way once again. I write this blog post in honor of amazing life.
|Doris-Jean (Stoker) Wiseman - 12/29/1927 - 9/4/2012|