Category Archives: Miracles do happen

Bilateral hearing rocks!

This is exciting news. I didn’t know what to expect with the second cochlear implant, but I was told it’s different for everyone, and that quite a lot is possible. I had zero hope of ever hearing pitches normally again.
But guess what happened tonight? I was talking with my husband, telling him good night, and when I got to the bathroom to brush my teeth I looked at my reflection in the mirror and it occurred to me that I had just been hearing my own voice. MY VOICE. Which I hadn’t heard in almost two years. And you know what? I think I’ve been hearing real voices all day! It’s as if some thing in my brain just clicked. I’m so excited to hear more tomorrow, when I will actually be paying attention. To my son’s voice. To my daughter’s voice. And I’ll be hearing what they hear. Right?
I’m just in shock, I can’t find the words. I’m listening to my old ipod, with my favorite songs from before when I was a hearing person. Tool, Cibo Matto, Rusted Root, Over the Rhine, while still quite tinny, the notes are all there. The notes I remember. In my ears. And I’m not sleeping. This isn’t just in my dreams. It’s as good as real.
No words here. Just tears of joy. Indescribable joy.

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C is for cookie

I have always loved baking. When I got sick and lost vision, I stopped. It broke my heart, really. But patience and courage prevail! Every day I’m improving, and every day I’m taking tiny steps toward regaining some independence and enjoyment in life.

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Hence, the cookies! Chocolate chip cookies, made with love. Yesterday’s batch using old secrets was terrible, so today I tried something new. And you can see from the photo, I couldn’t wait to try one. It was perfection. Simply perfection. Got milk?!

Leftovers

The kids are at Grandma’s, and we have had a glorious time relaxing after the holiday. Yesterday after we dropped the kids off we stopped at the indoor shooting range. This is our idea of a date, because we both enjoy shooting. Mike is good at it, and has done well in competitions. In fact, I think he won the last one he competed in. I, on the other hand, am not so great. I just don’t get enough practice, but also the impaired vision doesn’t help. Though I surprised us both yesterday. I did a lot better than we expected. My reward? An early Christmas present purchased from the gun store, registered in my name.

After our time at the range, we headed to the local Italian restaurant for a good, Chicago-style pizza. Mike had been craving it, and I am always up for pizza. Even the day after Thanksgiving. We always like to order the largest sized pie and bring the leftovers home. Mike and Luke both just love cold pizza for breakfast. Silly boys.

So, this morning I had pizza for breakfast, and now I am enjoying the turkey day leftovers for lunch: pumpkin pie and coffee. We haven’t even touched the leftover turkey yet.

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Thankfully the house wasn’t destroyed from the festivities, so it didn’t take much to clean up. Dishes are done, extra table and chairs packed away, floor mopped. Mike even got his voice back!

I have to say I was quite amazed and pleased to see so many people giving thanks on Facebook this year. And not just any thanks, but thanks for the simple, genuine things like family and friends and God’s blessings. There was a bit of a trend of hard times for many of my friends and family this past year. Many of us were struck with extreme challenges like major illness and even death, some happening on this very week of Thanksgiving. I honestly believe the devil was trying extra hard this year to bring people down, but if my personal Facebook feed is any indication, it didn’t work. People are still seeing the good in life, and thanking God for it. I pray that continues, and that we are all able to see God’s hand at work in our lives.

All in all, it was a pretty perfect holiday. I am still learning to cope with change and enjoy every moment of life I am given. I pray the same for whoever is reading these words. Now… on to Christmas!!

The most thankful post yet

This morning I had a wonderful, realistic dream that our family was sitting around waiting for Thanksgiving dinner. Mike’s aunt and grandparents were there, and we were trying on hats, comparing head sizes. We were just talking and having a good time. Like the old days when I was a hearing person. In reality, that was only a short time ago. I lost my hearing quickly, but almost as quickly I was given the gift of a cochlear implant. I remember the fear of complete silence, and I still experience that in bits and pieces (bedtimes, showers, etc.). So while it will never quite be the same, dreams like I had today remind me that it’s possible. It is on the horizon.

Almost literally.

My husband’s family, my adopted family, will be here tomorrow for the food-filled holiday of Thanksgiving. My dream – or memory, perhaps – will become a reality. Laughing together, sharing stories, making new and wonderful memories. Redeeming last year’s Thanksgiving when I ran crying from the dinner table. Last year was the first year in over a decade that we had not hosted turkey day, and I am proud and nervous to be reclaiming that tradition after such a challenging year. We have always felt blessed around this time of year, but this year I think more than most. Last year I was such a mess, but over time God has picked me up and held me, and given me peace and patience and hope. When I had nothing to give, and barely the strength to ask for help, He rescued me. He rescued all of us.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found;was blind but now I see.”

Let me introduce you to a friend of mine

I started this post last night, but it was while I had the television on, so I was distracted. I scrapped it, because when you want to share an important message, “distracted” is a crappy mindset to be in. This morning I’m trying to go with “honest” and “clear minded”. Here goes…

I saw Jesus yesterday. Not literally, of course, but real enough. I hesitate to write publicly about this because I want to be respectful of others’ privacy and personal lives, but I hope she will understand the underlying desire to share the powerful message her life is speaking. Who is she? She is a dear friend from my church. Someone who I felt a connection to from the beginning, because when we met two short years ago, she was having difficulty walking, as I do many days. It looked like MS, though doctors were still working on a diagnosis at the time. After many months of waiting for more testing to be done, a diagnosis was made.

My friend has ALS. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS is a debilitating, incurable, fatal neurological disease. The nerves that tell her body to do the most basic and necessary functions are quickly dying. In a very short amount of time she has had to deal with loss after loss after loss. She is dependent on her husband and countless others for everything: eating, bathing, dressing, sleeping. Not only that, but she is an extrovert. Being stuck at home has to be one of the hardest changes for her. Amongst all the rest.

But rest assured, there is a positive message here. You see, I never leave her house feeling sorry for her. In fact, I always leave feeling more blessed and amazed. Not because she is a great woman, though she is amazing, but because I see something – someone – shining through her. When I see her, I see Jesus in those sparkling eyes. She is living in one of the most tragic of situations, and she still wears a smile and true light in her eyes. She is confident that this is not the end for her. She is looking forward to an eternity with her Savior. When her physical body breathes it’s last labored breath, she will be in heaven, dancing with her Jesus.

This is a woman who has devoted her life to serving Christ by mentoring others, and she hasn’t let ALS stop her. She continues to mentor others from her wheelchair using the telephone, computer, and voice commands. She still accepts visitors at her home, even though it may be uncomfortable for some to see her in her present state. Her body is dying, but her spirit is still very much alive. Of course, she has her bad days, but she lets herself have them and moves on. Every day is a gift, and she knows this with all of her heart. She chooses to life live to the fullest, every day, with all she’s got. And it may look to the human eye like that’s not much, but I know the opposite is true. She has Jesus living within her, giving her strength and peace and courage and hope. By letting Him shine through her, she is a true inspiration.

My hope here is a sort of “pay it forward” wish. I know that Christ’s strength and power is made perfect in our weakness. It’s true for my friend, and I want it to be true of me. I was dealt a crappy hand this past year, but I am determined to make the best of it. With strength I didn’t know I had, I am overcoming. I am 100% confident that that strength comes from knowing Jesus, and I want everyone to know Him too. So I suppose that’s the message. I’m not an evangelist. I’m not trying to be pushy. After all, you could have stopped reading this at any point, and you still can. But if you’ve made it this far, let me ask you this: have you met Jesus? Do you want to? I know He wants to meet you, and I would be glad to introduce you 🙂

Today was a good day

I feel like someone should throw me a party, or buy me a congratulatory latte. I did get a high five from my audiologist and a fist bump from my husband. Why? Because at my last appointment I scored 21% speech recognition and today it was a whopping 79%! And that’s after only four months with one ear! Imagine how much better it will get with time and possibly a second ear implanted!

This is so exciting, to put a quantitative figure on the improvement until today I had only speculated was happening. Praise God!

Removing Distractions

I’ve been feeling numb lately. Uninspired, lacking passion, boring even. And as I sit and contemplate why that is, I come up with a train of thought. The first car on the train being that I have not been praying on a consistent basis, and that leads to shallow prayers lacking meaning and purpose. Inconsistent and shallow prayers lead to inconsistent reading of Scripture, so I’m not talking to God, and He’s not talking to me (or I’m not listening).

Now, my main desire for starting this blog was to encourage and inspire people. I can’t do that if I’m only writing about the mundane details of life (though I know you love hearing about my housekeeping habits).

But, I digress. Back to the train. There is no meaningful conversation happening between me and God, and I am uninspired. Why is this? Because I am distracted. What is distracting me? Stupid Facebook games. There it is. I confess. And if I were truly, honestly confessing to you, I would share that today I spent a solid three hours playing Candy Crush and Farmville 2. Without getting up. And it didn’t end there. I did manage to get some things done, but always came back to the games. Because, “just one more” is a lie, folks. It never happens. This is an addiction, and the only way to beat it is to turn away. I have decided to stop playing altogether as of just before I started writing this post, but I’m honestly still arguing with myself about whether I “need” to un-install the damn things. And I think that’s the proof right there. They need to go.

What will I do to fill my down time? I don’t know, read, crochet, de-clutter the junk hiding in my closets and drawers? Or I could walk, practice hearing on the phone, write a note to a friend. That’s quite a list right there, and all of those things are things I would be happy to do. Correction: WILL be happy to do. Because starting tomorrow, the games are gone. Yup, I need to un-install them. Going to do that right now…

… okay, I did it! Wait, gotta remove Candy Crush from the phone and Kindle…

… okay, now I’m done. Games are gone.

I hope you know I’m doing this for you. I just hope it’s worth it. I’m gonna go cry myself to sleep now.