Saying the words, “Thank You,” is probably the best gift you can give to someone - sometimes even better than the gift itself. I believe there is something magical in those two words. But, of course, you have to have good intentions when saying it and not because your parents or someone else told you to say it. In ending 2012, I was thinking about adding previous blog links from World of Silence where I would talk about how far I have come from being suddenly deaf to learning how to be at peace with deafness. In this blog, I am going to recognize individuals in my life I want to say, “Thank You,” to. There are so many out there who have helped me accept my deafness, but these people really made a difference.
Monica Hood - Owner of Deaf-Insight. Monica saw my blog on World of Silence, and I think I also found her website through searching information about deaf culture when I became deaf. I submitted one of my stories to see if she would post it on her Deaf-Insight, not thinking she would, but she did. Actually, she approached me and asked if I wanted to be a weekly blogger on her website. When Monica invited me to write I didn’t believe her at first being new to the deaf world. I still today have to take a step back and say, “Boy, I am such a novice at this deaf thing. The other bloggers have been deaf forever compared to me. How can I compete?” Monica, keeps reassuring me I hold my own. Monica, “THANK YOU.”
Cynthia Dixon - owner of 4 Ears, 4 Eyes. Cynthia makes me laugh. She is the one person I feel very comfortable going to and asking questions about deafness. I met her on Facebook when I became deaf. Cynthia, I love your writing. You are amazing. THANK YOU for being there for me when I needed someone to listen.
Judy Swartz (a.k.a “Mom”) - Sorry she doesn’t have a blog nor a website. Oh well! Parents never wish their kids to have to have any illnesses or disabilities, but my mom’s son did - deafness. She was stressed out 3000 miles away in Arizona when I ended up in the hospital for 10 days. I couldn’t talk to her on the phone for a long time because of my hearing recruitment or the cool technology I have today like my CaptionCall phone or ReSound Alera 962TSG hearing aids. The only way she could speak with me was through my wife and even that was difficult because the sound of the cellphone was loud. But, when I started my blog, my mom read my post and sought to understand. She understood that hearing aids were not going to create the perfect picture but just an aid. Mom, THANK YOU for being there from the beginning of my hearing loss adventure.
Karen Swartz (a.k.a. Wife) - Should I have mentioned my wife first or saved the best for last? August 28, 1999, we said to each other, “I do,” regardless of what happens. But nobody anticipates waking up one morning to find your husband can’t hear your voice. I know there are many out there that lose their hearing suddenly like me and some who lose it progressively. If I had a choice I would not chose it to occur suddenly,so it would allow Karen time to adjust to my hearing loss until it was completely gone. We have been married for 13 years and have been through too much over this period of time and to add a deaf husband. Karen has been so brave, taken care of me and the kids while I couldn’t since I was in the hospital, and being sensitive when I needed quiet time. Karen, with all my heart and soul, and not just because you are my wife - THANK YOU!