My dad is one the best dad’s I know of. When we were little, he read us stories before bedtime. One of the stories I remember most was that of Raggedy Ann. He was part way through a story when he put the book down and held up his hand, fingers together and thumb out, like a mitten. We looked expectantly at his hand, something else was coming we knew. He moved his hand this way and that and then asked us, “How does Raggedy Ann pick her nose?”
We giggled and wiggled with the vision of a thumb up Raggedy Ann’s nose. “Daddy!!! That’s not in the story!”
He would play hide and seek with us. He helped us with homework, went to dance recitals, watched me at swim meets and when we were older he changed the oil in our cars. He was and is a good dad. We can go to him with anything, we are his girls. I love my daddy.
My mom mentioned in a comment on yesterday’s blog post, that my dad did the best ever this last trip while talking to me. It was true, I had the easiest time understanding him since I was a little girl. My dad was taught that children were meant to be seen but not heard.He kept this rule close to him even as an adult. He couldn’t bring himself to talk louder for me.
He has this other habit and I don’t know where it came from. His lips don’t move like normal when he talks. My imagination throws a cigarette between his lips and he talks like it’s still there even though he doesn’t smoke anymore. So for the past 10 years, as my hearing has worsened, I’ve had a hard time understanding him.
Now the cat’s really out of the bag. I’ve started writing about my hearing loss, a memoir of sorts. I throw in information and give my personal experience. I have been sending my mom what I write to edit. She shares it with my dad. My first real “chapter” was on how I hear. I guess it was an eye opener for both of them. I thought they knew my whole experience, me being their kid and all, but I guess I didn’t put a whole lot into words. They never really knew. So that chapter was the catalyst to help my dad understand, speak up more, look at me and he moved his lips more. Mom was proud of him. It was less strain on me.
Other people have come by that chapter via my writing group and by mistake while it laid around the house. It’s very encouraging to hear the response from it. I see the understanding in their eyes. I got through to hearing people! I have always wanted to write and now I have a purpose. Eight chapters have come together with more on the way. I would really like to write something up that other hard of hearing people can give to their hearing family and friends for more understanding. That’s my goal. That’s what I’m doing with my time lately… when not traveling anyway.