Whenever my dad comes to visit and see’s all the things we deal with on a normal, everyday basis, he will remark how our household would make a great reality show. It would be much better than Jersey Shore, I’m sure, and probably a lot more culturally edifying–at least Deaf Culturally edifying. You could probably learn a lot about how to handle broken glass and the many uses outside of Christmas for string lights. You would probably learn a lot more ASL than either my children, my brothers or my nephews. You might not need to use it as badly, but you’d be welcomed to visit.
Time for something serious again. My dad is a travelin’ man. Sometimes he lives with me, sometimes my brother, other times alone, sometimes with my mother. He gets shipped off to help this person or that person as often as the Marines. He was a politician once, and he still doles out advice as if he were still in office. Don’t get me wrong–He’s been right about a lot of things–I shouldn’t have married my ex husband among them, but he’s not right about everything.
Usually I will just agree he is wiser, take his advice, my own counsel and do the best I can to make a good decision with my husbands. When I can’t decide, I take it to the only parent I defer to completely: Heavenly Father. He has proven smarter than me on everything I have brought to him, even when it looked to me like he was sending me into disaster. He was the one who outsmarted me and moved me like a chess piece until I was at checkmate when I said HE could pick my next husband. He did.
It didn’t seem like a smart decision at all–a single mother raising two small children on a tight budget marrying an unemployed deaf-blind, slightly crazy, bachelor from Floriduh that she had never met in person before, only knew him from online conversations. But God was smarter, and he put me in such a position that I had to accept what he offered. It was really amazing how supportive my friends were, when it seemed very clear to me that marrying my now husband was perfectly illogical. I didn’t even know ASL!
I defer to my Heavenly Father because his decision was so much better than I thought it was, or could be, or mine would have been. It was, it seems, perfect for me, and I have deferred to him completely ever since insomuch that even the proclamations the church comes out with, I will not argue with at all, even if I feel a little uncomfortable with them. God has proven he is smarter than me and though I ask all the time ‘Why is this so hard?’ I never doubt that if HE has sent me to this place, which I believe he has, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I believe that because there always has been.
Which brings me to my Dad’s advice. He suggested I go to a ‘hearing’ ward. (Wards are congregations of the LDS Church). He suggested that I might get more support than I do at the Deaf Branch. (Branches are smaller congregations of the LDS church, typically smaller than a ward). He says this because he knows the trouble I have in my positions at church, being an interpreter of sorts for the deaf parents of hearing scouts and the leader of the primary age children. He knows I have problems because I am hearing and some of the things I suggest or comment on to leadership aren’t taken seriously because I’m not deaf, I don’t really understand. Sometimes the leadership suffers from the tyranny of compassion and can find themselves being more hypocrites than Hippocratic.
My father knows I have problems asking for help from the members because as poor as I am, most of them are even poorer. The deaf don’t usually end up well off. BUT, the deaf don’t see my family as dysfunctional. They don’t feel pity for me or my husband Compassion, yes. Pity? No. They see our family as relatively well off. And almost all of them can communicate with my husband to a greater degree than hearing people can. If I can’t show up for something, they are far more understanding and I don’t need a one page explanation. If I am late, I’m actually on time. If someone else hasn’t shown up, I can fill in.
With the Deaf I feel normal and I feel needed. I don’t feel as if I am more of a burden than the people around me. I feel I do more help than harm. My family learns more, and indeed, I think they are loved more in the Deaf Community.
I have, in the past, had people I call ‘the Deaf Elite’ (professors and ‘professionals’ who serve the deaf — sometimes CODAs) tell me that I don’t belong in the community. That I will never ‘fit in.’ I think they speak out of fear that they will lose their position as ‘elites’ if too many people they cannot control join the group.
Where I am, I believe, is where He wants me to be. Even though I miss music, I miss things functioning as they should, and I miss very large social groups full of people who complain more about Facebook than they praise it, I feel I am in a place where I have more joy. It is a place I receive more enlightenment–not education, though I miss that sometimes too. It is a place where you need to have common sense and adaptability. All of those make it ideal for a person like me. I think God knew that I would be more inspired, enlightened, and have more joy in this place, because logic would have sent me to the Hearing World too.
I think I’ll stay here a little longer, besides–where would I get such good fodder for blogging than the world I am in now?