This isn’t a pity party, but…
Life is unfair.
And I tend to take that personally.
You know, if I were God, everything would be fair, right?
It was hard to grow up deaf.
Hard to sit on the sidelines while other kids splashed in pools, played in recess games, sang along with the radio, talked on phones, and whispered in class.
It feels personal. You wonder why you were “picked” out of everyone in the world to be different. Different can be painful.
The most amazing thing I learned?
That every.single.person has a disability.
Something that hinders them, that makes them feel like they don’t fit in, that keeps them from achieving or dreaming. And I’m sure that doesn’t feel fair to anyone else either.
It’s a lesson I learn and relearn… that to wish I were someone else is to assume I know of their private struggles and heartbreak.
I was eight years old and on my way to be prepped for surgery. I was in a dour mood – knowing I could expect a large half-moon of stitches to add to the scar collection, needles, pain, and the worst – my curls to be shaved off.
It was Christmastime and we were far from home. I was tired of procedures and tests and constant appointments where everyone talked about me, but not to me. In that mindset, I walked toward the medical office with a scowl and didn’t pay much attention to the well-dressed couple in front of me.
Which meant that as the man in the suit stopped, I was following closely enough that his umbrella caught me square in the eye.
As I howled in a stage whisper while clutching my face and shooting evil looks at the affluent couple, my mother tried to assess the damage.
I glared at the apparently well-to-do couple as the woman made her way back to me. The man stood motionless and I was further offended that he didn’t bother to apologize or even look at me.
“I’m so sorry… he’s blind.”
It was a painful lesson about assumptions.
I hope to write someday about the blessings of being deaf. That unfairness isn’t the end of it.
And I hope that when you brighten my day by stopping by, that you see someone who is very much like you (a very klutzy version of you, maybe), and that our disabilities aren’t at the forefront of our friendship.
See, I told you it wasn’t a pity party. Don’t y’all want to know how being deaf led to me meeting my husband? :)
Have a great Sunday and remember, You Only Live Once!