On a cold Monday night of 95, came into the world a 7-pound baby with blue eyes, pee-wee hands and feet.
Joy and happiness spread across the audience’s faces.
Ma and Pa were excited to have their first precious new-born home.
Day by day they watched me grow and turn into a butterball.
A little toddler, old enough to speak yet barely talking.
I saw the pain as it soared throughout their faces.
Along with the doctors, the results, the emotional toll; the anger, the sadness, it all came and went.
The first step was to accept the fact; the fact that I am hard-of-hearing, forever.
It was time to discover its daily trials, triumphs, and cherishing moments.
In kindergarten, I was "deaf and dumb”.
The delay of my early childhood development, left me two years behind.
My family refused to define me as "impaired".
If they say "We are going to Dunkin Donuts" I hear them, but not if I asked "Who is Duncan?”
There was no "I don't want to wear it" I had to and I was lucky to still be able to hear.
The remark or question I remembered growing up was "What is that in your ears?"
"What happened to your ears?"
"Nothing" is all they ever got.
The images of eyes staring at me made me cringe; whispers from around me whirled in my head.
Woke up on a Monday and looked in the mirror; remembered what they said the day before.
I led there thinking “Why me, why did he choose me to be deaf?”
"Should I leave my hair down or up?" I always asked myself.
I wore it down on Monday.
I wore it down on Tuesday.
I wore it down on Wednesday.
I wore it down on Thursday.
I wore it down on Friday.
The weekends don't matter, indoors is where I spent most of my time.
I ponder, "Why is it me who has to go through this?"
"Is this my fault?"
A few years passed by, I am a big girl now at junior high.
A new me, new school, new friends and teachers, but the same old soul.
I let my freak flag fly and wear my hair up.
"Show em your new hearing aids."
The eyes glaring at me, I tell them "Look not at my ears, but my soul."
Worry never accomplishes anything.
But yet, with determination anything is possible.
Some have to work harder than others to get to places.
I have work extra hard to listen, to comprehend every word that comes out of people’s mouths.
Understanding a conversation without asking to repeat is like Owens’ triumph at the Olympics.
True satisfaction comes not from the outside but within.
Many don’t understand the struggles I have to fight; the whispers, the stare, the questions, but that is okay.
Others do not have to question what they heard or heavily rely on lip reading, but that is okay too.
Mama used to say “God made you who you are on purpose, not punish you.”
“What is that in your ears?”
“They are hearing aids.”
“What happened to your ears?”
“Nothing happened, I am hard-of-hearing and I wear hearing-aids.”
It’s the first day of high school; a new school, new friends and teachers, and new experiences.
I look in the mirror, I put my hearing aids in and I said to myself “I’m gonna make the world know, that I’m no different.”