When talking with a friend that I hadn’t seen since childhood, I told him of my severe and profound hearing loss. He asked if I had hearing aids, and when I answered that I had tried them extensively, but hadn’t been able to benefit from being aided, he wondered at what I was missing? “…music, a soft whisper, a bird chirping, spoken poetry, etc.”
Later, in thinking about what a romantic the little boy that I knew had become, I began contemplating what I was missing– music, soft whispers, bird’s chirping, and spoken poetry. The following is my musings on soft whispers.
“I cannot hear whispers at all. Someone will try to whisper in my ear and I instinctively take their face in my hands and force them to look at me so that I can read their lips. Then, of course, they no longer will whisper since they are speaking face to face. LOL I don’t want to miss soft whispers, but the only way I can hear them is to watch the whisperer speak. Pretty hard to do with their lips pressed up against your ear. LOL
I used to do the same with the kids when they were little, when they would whisper things to me. I would take their little faces in my hand, in order to see what they were saying, but they would always shake free of my grasp and again, press their little mouths to my ear, holding my head so I couldn’t turn it to look at them. I did love the feel of their hot breath, and the gentle touch of their soft, little hands as they held my face still, and so sometimes I would just pretend that I heard, in order to ease their frustration with my repeated head turning. But hearing what they said was the only pretence, for I did delight in every other aspect of their whispers. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to regain those lost moments, to hear the context of their sweet whisperings, but to think of that makes me sad and so instead I will simply take pleasure in remembering all that a whisper is for me.
It makes people sad to know that you can’t hear them, especially children, and on occasion I fake it. Something all hearing impaired people do.
Just typing those first two paragraphs has made me cry, because it has brought back the memory of my doing the same thing to my grandma when I was a little girl. I would try to whisper sweet nothings to her and she would gently take my face and try to see what I was saying, but no matter how many times she would do that, I would shake free from her grasp and again, whisper in her ear, holding her face so she couldn’t turn to see what I was saying. She would smile and take delight in my attempts, but I could see the lack of understanding on her face, for she was completely deaf. But when I looked into her eyes we both smiled because her hearing what I was trying to whisper was not necessary for us to feel the love between us. We both just laughed and hugged.
See, how can I be sad for too long at my lack of hearing? Without that lack, I would have missed having the ability to delight in all that a whisper is. It isn’t just the sound, it is so much more.”