Thank you, Dr. T.

One of the things that I write about from time to time is the fact that I have moderate to severe hearing loss in both ears.  I began having trouble hearing things well when I was about 10 years old; I remember the soundproof booth at the University, and how claustrophobic it made me.  I write about my experiences because I think it is important for those of us with hearing loss to share with others, so that those who are beginning this journey have some answers, some information, and some hope.

Whatever I can share, I will.

Tomorrow I go in for a one-week follow-up on my new hearing aids.  Forgive me for getting technical, but I have two Oticon Alta2 Pros, which are behind the ear (BTE) and absolutely amazing.  Before this, I had Oticon Agils, but the sound quality and receptivity of the new programming and technology is astounding. I could not be happier.  Tomorrow I will tell my audiologist that they are 95% perfect and I am so very happy that I was able to make the change.  I will ask her to add some programming I need so I can stream music via Bluetooth straight to my ears.  I am still a little giddy at this.

However, there is a downside to my appointment tomorrow.  My audiologist is leaving, and taking a position closer to her home but far from mine.  She is everything an audiologist should be:  Knowledgeable, honest, helpful, and friendly (Ok that last one is just what I would like).  She faces me when she talks, she speaks and enunciates clearly at all times. She shares just a little of herself, and asks about me.  She asks about my sound environment, and what kind of sound I prefer.  She listens.  She hears.

I don’t know who my new audiologist will be, but Dr. T. has set the standard pretty high.  Tomorrow I will give her a thank you note, and a little Starbucks card, and I will share the following:

Thank You, to Dr. T.  

It’s just hearing …
Just sound, just noise.
Not cancer, not babies, not wound-mending knack.
But they don’t know the things I know
Because they can hear, but simply won’t.

What you can do
Is magic, a gift.
You grant sound, where sound never was
And make it more fulsome where once it played.
You make music resound
And become a symphony again.
You help the birds to sing,
Where dawn’s silence trembled.

Let the fridge hum and the neighbor’s dog bark
Let the moths tap at the glass.
In the fullness of sound, I rejoice at noise
Which is normal, which is natural
Which is mine.

I wanted to hear voices more clearly again
And converse, and share, and delight.
I have that afresh, and so much more
Because you were called
And answered the plea
And have the skill, and heart.
To conjure sound, where sound couldn’t be.

(Copyright 9/2015, Casey Fogle)

Best things ever.

Best things ever.

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Seriously. Teeny, shiny, and THEY WORK.

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Thinking Thursday: Let go, but of what?

Everything I have read over the last few days seems to suggest that I need to “let go, and let God.”  Blogs I’ve read, conversations I’ve had, experiences that we are going through.

Ideas that we have had for the future keep popping up where we were not looking – but then they are very scarce in the areas where we are actively seeking information.  One example of this is a fellowship that my G is slated to take part in this winter – that no one else had ever heard of.  Another example is a school program that will help him get a certification he needs – again, it was not a well known program.  Traditional job hunting techniques have resulted in a big goose egg.

A job I really, desperately, wanted – didn’t even result in an interview.

Obviously we are being carried, and also obviously we are being pointed in a certain direction. We just don’t know what that direction is yet.

Limbo sucks.  I am not good at waiting.

But the more we let go, and the more we just keep filling in the blanks as we are given surprising opportunities, the more good things are coming our way.

The more we let go, the more our cup overflows.

So my question for you tonight is –

What do you need to let go of?

What is holding you back, because you are holding on to it?  What is weighing you down, because you won’t jettison what was otherwise a seemingly great idea, or dream, or opportunity?  

“Let go, and let God” isn’t, word for word, in the Bible.  But David wrote that we are to cast our cares on God.  Psalm 55:22

In seeking more verses tonight, I found this blog from Guideposts- “Sometimes there’s a difference in what we want to give up and what we need to release.”

Is it that there is something in your life you should let go of?  Some control you need to cede?

A friend told me tonight that she’d have a hard time with our current situation, because limbo makes her anxious.  She likes to have control.  As an Army family, we have somewhat learned that our illusion of control is just that – an illusion.  Really, we are at the Army’s beck and call.

I learned to relinquish control over that part of our lives long ago – now, God is teaching me to let go of the rest of it.  Not sure what our jobs will be?  Let it go.  Not sure where we will even live?  Let it go.

Finish school.  Try for opportunities that land on our desks. Finish the Army.  And lean back, let go, and trust.

It would be easier if we could travel the way these two want to.

It would be easier if we could travel the way these two want to.

Seeking the Rainbow

On the eve of September 11, a huge rainbow touched down on the site of the World Trade Center. Some had the rainbow beginning on that site, some people wrote that it ended there as a benediction.

Rainbows are pretty special, for being refractions of light through water. Biblically, they are proof of God’s covenant with His people.  People see it as a sign of hope, of unity, and of balance.

Last night, we had a downpour as we were driving home, and Little G mentioned that she didn’t remember the last time she’d seen a rainbow.  I pointed out that the way the clouds looked, combined with the angle of the sun, meant it was perfect rainbow weather.

Perhaps because I look for them, I see a lot of rainbows.

Sure enough, I saw a gorgeous rainbow in my rearview mirror as I drove to take dinner to My G.  A lot of my local friends saw rainbows, too, and some shared.

Nicki Luther rainbow

Barely there, but it’s there – Nicki Luther

Sue rainbow

Thank you, Susz.

I’m writing this on September 11, 14 years after tragedy struck our nation. 14 years since the Army, and the United States, were changed in ways we are only now beginning to realize and understand.  14 years of rapid deployment, fear, military hyper-readiness, and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

We are in a storm.

Are we seeking the rainbow?  Are we looking for the promise of peace, of hope, of God’s promise to us?

When the storm is gray and harsh, do we seek the sunlight and the rays of hope?

Let’s promise tonight, that in the midst of storms both political and personal, we will seek the light.  We will look behind and beyond the clouds for the light to shine in, and we will accept the promise that He is with us and there is hope.

In a Mood

The sky is gray this Wednesday morning, and much-needed rain is hopefully coming our way.  But the weather is also creating havoc with our cats, one of whom handles weather changes very poorly and will meow for hours. The weather is also creating a tiredness and grumpiness that has all of us feeling like we are itchy inside our own skins.

Everything is getting on my nerves.

It’s not been the best morning.

I know you’ve been there.

Someone posted a feel-good story on Facebook, and it made me smile. And lightened the “itchy, twitchy” feeling a little bit.  So I thought I’d share what I’ve seen so far this morning that has helped me, in the hopes it might help someone else as well.

First, a man who mourns his wife of 65 years by attending her grave daily, talks with a fallen servicemember and tends his grave as well for the family who can’t be there every day.  You can read it here.

This site exists.  For all the comics you miss reading.

I don’t know why, but this article about a news anchor suing over a toy hamster makes me laugh.  I can see why she’d be annoyed, and I’m not sure why they named the hamster for her, but it still makes me laugh.

Or how about this one?  How not to get a job.  And why texting personal photos should be done very, very carefully.

Wonder what your cat would text you if he could?  Read about Mittens.

Let me know what kinds of funny or weird news you find today, or what makes your day go a little easier.  In the meantime, I’m going to go give some lavender to He Who Meows.

He’s really a good cat…just out of sorts today.

Thinking Thursday: Watering Our Trees

This has been the draggiest, tiredest, most worn-out-feeling “Second Week of School” that I can remember, ever.  I drop like the dead into sleep, I rise feeling stretched and a little achy.

I am not blooming.

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Maybe it’s the mattress.

Maybe I’m coming down with something.

Except…

I can see in the eyes around me, both my family and my friends, that we are all feeling exhausted. We are dry and parched. Our lovely weekend between Week One and Week Two seems to have done absolutely nothing to help us bloom or thrive this week.

I need a nap.

I know I’m not alone.

In one of my texts, the authors describe individual development using the metaphor of a tree – our family and friends and schools are our roots, the environment is our soil, and the trunk is made up of our behavior, attitudes, and personal resilience.

Perhaps my soil is dry.

Perhaps I need to water my trees.

Consider self-care to be your water, helping you bloom. So here is my question:

How are you watering your trees today?

Self care is crucial, and seems to be the number one thing that we, especially women, let go by the wayside.  For this reason, I’ve spent time with friends, attended the most amazing movie, and I’ve been trying to eat better.  I’ve exercised, I’ve laughed, I’ve gone to bed earlier.

It’s helped a bit, and I am looking into ways to feel less draggy. We are all going easy on ourselves this week, and giving grace where needed.  (Such as when my sweet husband asks if I want him to get our daughter from school…and I think it’s all settled…and he comes straight home without her. Good thing she’s a patient sort.)

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Even a dry Texas sage can bloom like mad in the right conditions.