Don’t throw your trash…

Remember that song? “Don’t throw your trash in my backyard, my backyard, my backyard. Don’t throw your trash in my backyard, my backyard’s full.” And then something about fish and chips and vinegar, but that’s not the problem. The problem is the trash. (Sidenote: We are having salmon for dinner.)

Our next door neighbor is not throwing their trash into my backyard. No, they just like to leave a pile of it at the curb. You know, where the trash BIN should be? You know, the bin that the trash goes INTO? GRR. This is not the first offense, but this is the first time it has caused trash to be blown into our yard. I found trash yesterday, and then again today. Because that pile has been there for DAYS.

I would love to go over there and *ahem* address the issue, but I don’t know if they know I’m deaf, and I think if I had to go through that whole “how to communicate with me” orientation, I would lose steam. And effectiveness. So I put the trash in our trash bin, and will let my big burly redhead handle it. But if it happens again on my watch, I’m totally throwin’ that trash in their backyard.

Thank God the North won

I’ve been reading Magic Tree House books to my son at bedtime every night. These are books that are fiction, but based on history. In each book, two young children, a brother and sister, are sent back in time to accomplish a task.

The book we are currently reading is set in the time of the Civil War. The story explains that makeshift hospitals are set up with tents for the injured soldiers. As I’m reading about one tent being filled with African-Americans, Luke nudges me to ask what that means. What is an African-American? he wonders. He will be 7 years old in less than two weeks, and he doesn’t know this term? I explained, this is another term used to describe a black person. Like two of his very best friends, C & D.

I continued to read about the War and slavery, and I can see in his eyes a sad sense of confusion. As I’m explaining what we are reading, it dawns on him that in that world – that horrible world – he wouldn’t be able to play with C & D, or many of his other friends. And even worse, his friends would be chained and treated like dogs, less than human. I can tell by the look in his eyes that this is just incomprehensible.

I went on to  explain that the North wanted to end slavery, and the South didn’t, and that is why they went to war with each other. And then, with the charm only a child can possess, he asks me: “We are in the North, right?” Proud to be a yankee!

Introducing Mindy, Still

In August of last year, I started suffering from tinnitus (ringing in the ears). I went to see my primary physician, and they referred me to a local ENT office (ear, nose, & throat). They were able to see me rather quickly, within a few short days. However, in these few short days I lost my hearing. It was that quick.

I should give some background since this is the start of a new blog. I am 36 years old, been married 15 years, and have two children. Luke is 6, and Natalie is 4. When I was pregnant with Natalie, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). I did quite well with it for several years, but this past year has certainly been the hardest.

I still have severe bilateral hearing loss, but in addition, I have some vision loss. I started having problems with the vision in September, but it has since improved some and found sort of a holding place. It’s difficult to describe how things look now, but I’ll try. I can see some things very clearly, but I have a sort of oblong white cloud on the left side. Also, colors are very distorted. I can recognize some bright colors like red or pink, as long as they aren’t terribly light. If they are surrounded by too much light, they are completely washed out. I need high contrast in order to distinguish objects or faces. I am able to read, but it is very tiring as I have to concentrate intently on keeping my place on the page. I do most of my reading on the computer or my Kindle Fire with high contrast settings or white lettering on a dark background.

That last bit was somewhat of a rabbit trail. I’ll have plenty of time to explain things here on the blog, but I wanted to explain where the title, “Still Mindy” came from.

When I first lost my hearing I was really struggling with my new identity as a deaf person, and was struggling to have hope that it was only temporary. I was talking with my dad about it, and he encouraged me by reminding me that, deaf or hearing, I am still Mindy. That really struck a cord with me, and I held onto it. I even used it to give myself my ASL (American Sign Language) name. So the first explanation for the name is that I will always remain true to who I am, no matter what.

The second part of the explanation is even more exciting, in my opinion. This whole experience has led me to a deeper relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have been clinging to Him throughout it all. For many months it was dynamic, and He was speaking o me and teaching me new things. And then it stopped. I knew He was still there, but He wasn’t saying anything. I kept praying and begging for a word, and then one day it came. He said in Exodus 14:14 that He is fighting for me, and I need to hold my peace. I didn’t think anything of it, but then the next day the same verse came to me through an entirely different format. It’s been a couple of months and I keep asking what I should be *doing*, and He just keeps telling me to BE STILL.

So. I am still Mindy, and I am learning to be still, in God’s presence and peace. And along the way, I’ll be sharing what I’m learning, what makes me laugh, what makes me cry, and I hope that you will join me and let it bless you!

First post, about the “Jordan”

As I’m searching for ideas for a header for this blog (e.g. Jordan River, paisley, etc.) my 4 year old daughter, Natalie, who has been on her “cell phone” sort of stomping around frantically and screaming in frustration for several minutes, finally hangs up and tells me she’s been on the phone with the police. They have arrested Jordan (whom I can’t recall hearing about, ever) because she’s mean. And they are going to keep her there for a very long time.

So, I decided the other day to start blogging again, but had yet to start posting. Then this happens, and I’m thinking, this sufficient for a “first post”, right? It’s not the Jordan I was looking for, but it’s a start!

I may be deaf and half-blind, but I am and will always be… still Mindy