Sunday, May 22, 2016


I have been deaf or near deaf for most of my 70 years. From the time I was 5 when I caught a severe case of the mumps, which destroyed my hearing and set my life to a lot of misery.

Getting through school, especially an elementary school that considered nothing but excellence, having a hearing loss was a major obstacle. Many a day it led to humiliation and a deep sadness that prevailed all my life. No one knows the feeling of frustration from not hearing, missing a key word or feeling the wrath of an uneducated teacher who only knows that you must answer correctly.

Being a child of misfortune my parents had no idea what was wrong. They were disappointed and I was told I would never amount to anything. My mother was quick to discipline my misfortune with a slap or sometimes a beating. I was made to feel stupid, foolish and insignificant, I was an embarrassment. I even tried to hang myself once for the shame I was bringing down on myself.

Then one day I was fortunate to move to Long Island and a school nurse discovered my problem. For the first time in my life, I took a hearing test and discovered I had a major problem, I couldn’t hear well. This ‘Bad’ news was a catalyst to a new self-conscious awareness of self-worth. Maybe I wasn’t so dumb, maybe I could do something to make my life better.

Mom started to realize I had a problem, that I would need some help, sit up front in class, work harder. Dad was a little less understanding, thought it was an affront to him, he once called me a deaf mute because I accidentally hit the table he was working on. The words sunk into the pit of my stomach and I had to retreat to the confines of my room where I sobbed and hated myself, I was 11-years old.

And so the journey through high school and college became a struggle, one of working late into the night to review the day’s lessons and make sense out of it.

Then one day the miracle of miracles occurred, I graduated college, I was on my way. I got a job in NYC, as a graphic designer and soon I was an art director, then moved to creative director, I had arrived. The struggle was eased by my talent, no one wanted to lose my talent!

So after all this, I come to today.

Recently I went to get new hearing aids. They are the latest technological innovations ever: it has given me great joy! These aids allow me to listen to music like an I-pod, to answer my I-phone without needing to hold the phone next to my ear and speaking into it, to listen in a restaurant without background noises. Suddenly, these simple things I have, and I’m loving it!


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