Monday we had the Hearing Loss Association of America on the show and this weekend is also Mother’s Day, so it got me thinking about my mom, Mama O’.
My mother wears two hearing aids, she has since she was 18. I've often talked about how her hearing loss has shaped our mother-daughter relationship on the show. The title of this blog illustrates a funny exchange I’m sure I've had with my mom at some point. All my life, I've been my mom’s ears in public situations to avoid these mishaps, but every once in a while, she just makes me laugh.
My mother has the best sense of humor through it all…if you ever joke about her hearing she (without missing a beat) pulls out the ol' “What?”, beating you to the punch line. In fact, my father used to joke that her hearing loss was the reason they had three kids in the first place. My dad would say, “Wanna go to bed or what?” (wink wink) …and my mother would reply, “What?”. Hence the three of us….
"I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but its state of the art. It's perfect." "Really," answered the neighbor. "What kind is it?" "Twelve thirty."
I've seen first-hand how people speak slower to someone who can’t hear because they assume they lack intelligence when really they just can’t hear you! In many cases, if my mom doesn't hear someone speak to her (especially if she cannot see them) they think she’s being rude by not responding and get upset. Don’t even get me started about how angry I am that hearing aids aren't covered by insurance!! These are all reasons education and funding is needed. Diedre Downs, who won Miss America my year, wore a hearing aid and never told anyone. She felt it could hinder her chances of winning if the judges knew and unfairly thought she couldn't “perform” the job. She later began speaking on behalf of hearing foundations, but during our competition, it was a secret she only shared with a few of us due to the stigma’s hearing loss holds.
Watching my mother’s daily struggles has taught me a lot and helped to create the close-knit bond we share. Even though humor is how we deal with my mom’s hearing loss, I’ll say in a moment of all honesty, it’s not easy for her. And I’d be lying if I said I never get frustrated.
Tolerance, education, and a lot of repeating yourself a little bit louder come with living with someone who has hearing problems. I said..REPEATING YOURSELF A LITTLE LOUDER WORKS!
Remember to count your blessings this Mother’s Day. I count Mama O’, as one of my biggest blessings in life. Mom- I figured I should write this next sentence. If I just said it to you over the phone this Mothers day instead of hearing, “Mom, the biggest compliment I've ever received is when people say I remind them of you." You’ll probably ask me, “What? I remind you of glue?”
NO MOM…simply put, all I am, I owe to you. You are my hero. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day. I SAID…HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!