Life in Color With Closed Captions

“How do you do it?”

There is a unusual level of dysfunction that my family lives with on a daily basis.  We all realize that this is not ‘normal’ for most people, not even most blind or deaf people and their family.  For us it has become ‘normal’ even if it is not comfortable.  The children are well adjusted to it, still able to communicate with their friends while communicating with their step-father in the best ways to be understood.  There are still miscommunications.  There are still problems that can’t be fixed with a light rope in the hall, clean hallways and regular oil changes.  Some things are still unbearably difficult, but somehow, we make it through.

Family and friends have been an invaluable resource as have charity, welfare and church.  They are all a regular part of our ‘normal’ life.  They all lift us up when we feel we are drowning.  And we try to be a blessing to all of them in return by serving and returning support.

It is a hard, long, difficult road, with many moments of sorrow and frustration, but just as many miracles and sufficient moments of joy.  Sometimes the joy seems fleeting and as hard as we try to hold onto it, it slips like sand through our fingers and we hit the next obstacle.  We struggle, and we endure.

Here is where we share the moments of joy, so we can look back and giggle, smile and remember.  There are many more moments of frustration ahead.  Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by it, and then a friend appears and we are, as CS Lewis said: Interrupted by Joy.  Thank you for being a part of it.

Sometimes The Magic Works

They’re making fun of my underwear again…  But I guess that’s what happens when a Mormon runs for political office on a national stage.

Because I am in a deaf branch of the LDS church (IE Mormon church), I get a lot of text messages from numbers I don’t recognize.  The deaf, in my experience, often change phones and numbers, and it is difficult to keep up with those changes.  So when I got a message from a random, out of town number, I didn’t think it very strange:

Since this was Family Home Evening night, a good deal of my family (my brother, his wife and son, and my father) were with me already, leaving only two sisters and two brothers this could possibly be.  But none of them had the name “Cales” in their family that I knew of.  I considered calling my mother, but decided that it was better just to ask for clarification first.

Kara is my best friend.  Erin is her sister.   Neither Kara nor Erin is deaf.  Both are members of the LDS Church (Mormons).

When it comes to “miracles” the definition from www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary is:

1: an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs
2: an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment
Most of the time, Mormons aren’t looking for the parting of the Red Sea, or fish turned into loaves, or manna from the sky.  What we usually recognize as a miracle is something like this:

My husband and I are perfectly willing to do temple work for friends.  Most of mine is completed as far as it can be done and my husband still has pedigree’s that need to be filled out.  We enjoy going to the temple and the spirit of peace we feel there.  It is the one place we can truly feel in the world and not of it.

Now that there are more questions about Mormons and temples and what we believe, there are also more criticisms, mockings and belittlings.  That’s okay, we are kinda used to it.  When I was still a teenager, The Godmakers came out.  I was told by many of my Protestant friends “Did you know you believe (fill in blanks with misinformation and propaganda)?”  Why no, I didn’t know that I believed that.  I did study my religion every day at seminary, and I had done baptisms for the dead.  I knew what it felt like to be IN the temple.

Because it is restricted to worthy members of the church, most people in the world do not know what it’s like to be in an LDS temple.  There are opportunities to visit a temple before it opens, called open houses, and you can always walk the grounds or go to the visitors centers.  Many people visit temple open houses and live to talk about it.  Even liberals are allowed to visit the temple at those times.

Lots of people mock Mormons.  Anti-Mormon sites are a dime a dozen.  We, as Mormons, take this all in stride, and sometimes even laugh along.  We are full of self deprecating humor.  But there are the rare occasions, like this article in the Huffpo, when people are evenhanded and fair and the members feel like there is a little more room to breathe.

You can mock Mormons and temples and garments, their belief that they are granted special blessings and protections for using them, but most of the people that wear garments and go to temples are true believers.  Call it ‘magic underwear’ if you want, but sometimes… the magic works.