When I see rain and hear thunder, it brings me back two specific memories.
During my childhood, I only had hearing aids and thunder was probably one of only few sounds I heard without hearing aids as sounds of deep thunder claps and vibration were connected. In Vermont, my mother was driving us to KFC to pick up fried chicken dinner. I was four years old sitting in the front seat (before car seat laws changed drastically due to safety regulations). I see my beautiful mother, the thick green trees and scenery outside of her window. It is pouring. She is laughing. I am not. I was scared and shy a little girl. “Mommy, I am scared”. I heard the thunder. “Did you hear the thunder!?” Said my mama. I gulped and nodded. She said, “The Angels are having so much fun up in heaven! They are bowling!” “Really?” And it comforted me in some ways.
My second memory was when I was about four years old again, I knew I was different already. My brother wasn’t wearing hearing aids. My parents, grandma, aunts and uncles would ask me often, “Can you hear me?” Or “Can you hear that?”My grandmother was babysitting me, my parents gave me kisses as they were heading out to dinner and movie. I cried. I told them the sky doesn’t look good and asked them not to go because I was afraid for their safety. They decided not to go. Then down the street, the light pole fell down and electrocuted a person. The ambulance and fire truck sirens went off. I sat down by the window, held onto my cross necklace praying that I wouldn’t be deaf anymore. Thunder clapped. Rain poured. Lightning flickered.
And I’m still deaf. I wouldn’t be who I am today if God healed me at that moment. His plans are always better than mine. I learned so much from my deafness and both sides of experiences - wonderful and painful kinds. I get stronger day by day by accepting things I can’t change and the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. The rain storms brings me a friendly reminder to accept myself, deafness and my storms.
Dance in the rain throughout all storms!
Hearing Impaired single mother and teacher aide at a hearing impaired oral preschool program. An author of "Turn The Lights On, I Cant Hear You".