Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Deaf Chronicles: A Mother's View

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I’ve never shared this photo before.

It’s my own personal day of infamy, captured on 35mm film.


I loved Spiderman, books, and my 2-week old baby sister.  What more could a 4-year-old want?


I turned deaf that day.


It was the last day my grandmother’s piano behind me played music.

The last time I heard a chorus of Happy Birthday.

The last time I heard a baby cry.


And it feels surreal looking at the picture now.  Knowing that my own Itty Bit is the same age.  Knowing that my world would be utterly rocked if he woke up one morning and said,

“Mommy, I can’t hear”


Do you know what it’s like to cope with an angry 4-year-old?  One who has suddenly lost every voice in their life?  Every sound from the telephone, radio, alarms, television?  This woman does:


There aren’t really words – spoken or written or signed, that can explain how the simple fact that she refused to give up or let go – saved me.


I owe her.

For making me feel like a person again.

For proving that sometimes being “special” is a good thing.

For promising me that God had a plan for me.


Someday I’ll write about the battles.  The professionals who thought they knew better than a mother.  The educators who went head-to-head with her and lost.  And the fact that we are still standing… regardless of what the diagnosis was.

But today?  I’ll let her say it herself.  The true story that she wrote for a college writing class years ago.  In her own words, how it feels to be a mother of a deaf child.

I love you Mommio.

A Moment of Injustice 1

A Moment of Injustice 2


A Moment of Injustice 3


Discovery School at First Baptist Heath said...

There is nothing as perfect as th elove of a Mother"s Heart. You are so blessed!

danette said...

What a beautiful post about your mother's love, heartbreaking that ya'll had to go through that though :(.

btw kudos to your mom on her writing - very well done, I felt like I was there (and by the end I was crying along with her). (((hugs)))

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

YOu are amazing for sharing this. What an amazing story and mother.

Anonymous said...

Oh Rachel. I can't say that I understand all that you and your mom went through, but after reading that masterfully written essay, I've come as close as I possibly could. I have such admiration for both of you for perserving in the face of what must have seemed overwhelming odds. You ARE special, in all the very best of ways; after reading this, I now know why. Thank you for continuing to give me glimpses into a world that, up to now, I just haven't understood. (((hugs))) (and that first picture? Brought tears to my eyes.... )

Merri Ann said...

I've been reading and not commenting much lately ... but I had to take a moment to comment this time ...

Some things really stand out to me ... First, your mom looks so young to be dealing with something so huge in her life ... and second, you always look so happy in all the pics I see of you ...

Not sure what exactly I'm wanting to say here ... but you both are amazing for making something great out of the whole situation.

Great post ... thanks for sharing it with us.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing another piece of your mother's heart with us!

Foursons said...

I'm amazed that you have a picture of the day you became deaf. When I looked at it w/out knowing the story behind it I just thought, "Oh she was so cute!" But when I went and looked again after I knew I felt haunted by it.

Your mother is an amazing woman. My heart broke right along with her as you sat on that bench and ate your lunch. And my mind was screaming, "Why is she eating lunch on the playground? Why didn't she eat in the cafeteria w/everyone else? Why won't those girls play with her?!"

I'm so sorry you had to live through that when there was so little understanding on the part of the school. If they had accepted you as you were, the other students would have done the same.

I send virtual ((hugs)) to that little girl on the bench.

Pam said...

Beautiful words spoken by a mom that would fight the world for her child.

Joey Lynn Resciniti said...

I feel like your mom did so often. I've wanted to pummel a little kid and not known whether to intervene or let my daughter fight her own battles. She doesn't even know she has a battle.

How chilling that you remember losing your hearing at such a young age.

Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too said...

This was an absolutely beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your mom's perspective!

Allenspark Lodge said...

Oh, Rachel, you and mom Paula are such very special people. Circumstances like your ordeals are what make us who we are. God gives us challenges...and you handle yours superbly. Itty Bit - and Mr. Daddy, too - are very lucky to have such strong women in their lives! Stay strong.

Mich said...

Thank you for stopping by and saying "hi." I love making new bloggy buddies. I appreciate the sweet words you left on my post.

What an amazing story, both yours and your mothers. So blessed to have stopped by today.

My grandmother was one of 13 kids, half of them were born deaf. My Granny could hear, but in her later years was in charge of her deaf brothers and sister. Their world was sheltered. But I loved them all dearly. They have all gone to be with the Lord, including my Granny, but your story sent me down memory lane today. Thank you.

Hope you have a great week filled with God rich blessings!!!

Amy said...

Well I can see where you get your writing talent from. What a beautiful piece! So wonderful to read!

That picture... after reading the story... is remarkable to look at. I look at several pictures of my childhood and can remember them being "the last something", but nothing compared to being the last day like yours. What an amazing mom you have, who taught you to be a strong woman too.

Thanks for sharing this amazing post!

stephanie said...

Beautifully written and utterly captivating. It speaks so well of a mothers love. Thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

Tears in my eyes friend. Your mom is incredible in more ways than one. Thank you for sharing this post, I know it comes from a place deep within that most people don't let others get close to.

Unknown said...

What a blessing to have such a mother :)
another great post Rachel!
Have a great week!

Furry Bottoms said...

Rachel, my gosh. Goosebumps all along my arms and my back. It is refreshening to hear it from the mother's point of view. And I love love love love that your mother understood. The best she could, not being deaf herself... but she understood better than anyone else what you were experiencing that day she was watching.

My own mother just says she doesn't remember the day I became deaf. Just that I didn't respond to her when she was calling. And later on, after I had gotten better, I noticed that the record player "was broken." It wasn't-- I just couldn't hear it anymore.

Your mother's account... means a lot to me even though I've never met her. She has a deaf daughter, just like my own mother does. I just never knew what it was like for her because she never wanted to share So I love it that your mother could.

He & Me + 3 said...

From all your other posts...I knew that you mom was an amazing woman, but WOW. She is AWESOME. Thanks for sharing her writing too.

Floortime Lite Mama said...

crying my heart out here
oh Rach
I am so touched

Allenspark Lodge said...

"A" paper. "A+" mother and daughter.

Thank you for sharing this.


Leiah said...

I'm not sure who got the better deal out of this one - you with such an amazing mother, or her with such a beautiful and loving daughter. I say let's call this one a draw. Thank you for sharing this part of your life. You are a blessing to us all!

Shana Putnam said...

Wow. That was deep and very thought provoking. I am amazed by you and your mother. What a beautiful pair you two make. I can understand some of the frustration and fear and want because of going through the long time with Blaze not hearing and I felt every word your Mom said reverberate in my soul. Thank you for reminding me just how lucky Blaze is and I am that we figured his hearing out and he is catching up and able to hear again. I only wish I could share my hearing with you Rachel. I would in a heartbeat if it was at all possible so you could have the joy of hearing that we take for granted every day. God bless you my friend. I love you lady!

4 Lettre Words said...

This such a powerful post...and w beautiful tribute. So glad I was able to read it! What a blessing.

Brandi said...

Stop making me cry early in the morning! This is beautiful, Rach. Sad, heartbreaking... but the love your mom has for you is beautiful.

Mrs. Mom said...

Rach, you and your Momma? Yeah-- Totally. Rock.
I heart ya both to pieces!!

Kmama said...

I can't imagine what you and your mom went through during those years. My heart ached as I read her paper. While it's outrageous, the love she had for you and shared in her paper is also heart warming.

Aunt Crazy said...

this left me speechless, it's absolutely amazing

Kelly said...

Hello tears on a Monday morning :(

I know it must have been awful. I'm so sorry that you were treated so poorly. I know that kids can be so mean!!

What a touching paper that your mother wrote. I like how she ended it...very nice. I can't imagine how she dealt with such things. It's so hard when your "baby" is hurting, and there is nothing that you can do about it.

robin said...

Thank you for sharing such special moving parts of your life (picture, mom's paper.) I think your mom rocks! I can't believe you actually have a picture of the exact day you lost your hearing. Haunting...

A little off topic....I have been watching Celebrity Apprentice (and wanted to slap Dionne last night due to her attitude towards Marlee.) Kinda like the playground boy all grown up.

Miss. Jinny said...

Thank you for sharing this!!! Tears filled my eyes as I read this!!! How great is a mothers love for us!! God is good all the time and all the time God is good!!! :)

Mama4Real said...

All this time, I never knew you were deaf! I guess it doesn't come up as much when you're typing to one another! What a beautifully written picture into your mama's heart. I don't know why kids are so mean. So cruel. This may sound ignorant, I hope not, but sometimes I think being deaf, or perhaps blind, might be a blessing in disguise.

Emmy said...

She wrote that so beautifully. So glad she was able to be your advocate and fight for you. It is amazing the things that moms can do for us.

kc said...

What a beautifully written, heart-breaking mother's story.

Thank you both for sharing!!!

GunDiva said...

You were so right in giving Momma P her name sign - she is an angel.

That was a beautifully written piece and you're both such amazing ladies.

Hugs and loves to your whole family.

tattytiara said...

I can't imagine how hard a scene like that would be for a mother to witness. Yes, the devotion of parents can be an awesome marvel. You were definitely blessed with a strong woman to raise you.

Buckeroomama said...

Oh, this made me cry. So beautifully written. Her strength and her love for you just shines through.

HeatherOz said...

Sobbing now! That is just absolutely heartbreaking. I can't imagine watching one of my babies go through something like that. God gave you the perfect Mama!

Liz {Learning To Juggle} said...

Recently we were at a party at a play center. Tommy was trying so hard to play with 2 other little boys at the basketball nets, it broke my heart to see him try so hard to join in and to see them so cruelly rebuke him. It was all I could do to not tear into each of them. I can only imagine the heart break your mother felt that day, 100x more than what I felt with Tommy.

What a beautiful and heart breaking post - and what an amazingly strong mother you have (not that you need any of us to tell you that).

Kameron said...

I should know better than to read your touching posts at work. You have made e cry several times lady! That must have been so heartbreaking for her and so difficult for you both. I can't imagine what it would be like to be able to hear one day and not the next. It was a beautifully written paper. :)

Stacy said...

Well, that made me cry. Thank goodness for a mother willing to fight. You were definitely blessed, Rachel. I can't imagaine how difficult it was for you when you were a kid. Kids have never been known for being the most empathetic at all times. Glad you had your family to be your rock.

Lucy said...

Hi Rachel, I found your blog through Jami Nato's. I'm hard of hearing also and I loved reading this story. I've only ever considered hearing loss from my perspective - it's helpful to hear about it from the parent point of view. Thanks for sharing! I'm following you now and I look forward to reading more.

Unknown said...

Sending hugs and prayers, because there isn't much else to say. Love you friend!

Anonymous said...

wow. She wrote that so well, I could SEE it...and being a mother and knowing how Daniel doesn't understand other kids, in some ways, I could understand how she would feel too. :( Heart wrenching.

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