Wednesday, March 4


Recently the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle asked me to write an entry for their "CI Circle News" focused on my feelings as a father upon learning that Drew was deaf.

I put it off for a few weeks, wondering what to say. In some ways that day seems far in the past, and in another way I still feel tender bruises. Of course it's difficult to get this personal about my feelings as well.

However, to be true to the purpose of this blog, which is to help other families who follow in our footsteps find support and empathy, to become empowered, I finally sat down to write on Sunday. This is the ink that was drawn from my pen.


I couldn’t see. Heavy drops of rain pelted my windshield, lingered, and eventually were pushed aside by the wipers in the fashion of a blinking eye. Swish. I saw nothing ahead but a long road of silence. Of fear. Of Dread. Swish.

Swish. I couldn’t breathe. That long, deep exhale of relaxed contentment, of a world full of bright futures and sunny skies that exists in the world of children were crushed by the dark news of which I had just heard. My chest is heavy. Swish.

“Hello? How did it go?”

“He can’t hear.”

I couldn’t hear. I didn’t want to hear. It can’t be. Didn’t he hear me drop the metal dog bowl just the other day? Remember when he startled to the dog barking? Say that again?

I can hear the raindrops pitter-patter upon the hood of my car, the growl of the engine, the fast-paced beating of my heart – but my son can’t hear? He’ll never get to dance to music like his sister holds so dear? He’s deaf? Swish.

I was numb. I was alone. My wife was alone, learning of this news with no one to hold, finding that all the “I love you” whispers and lullaby tunes had truly gone unheard. He’ll really never know my voice? Here I was, separated from her by a few miles of road, buckets of falling rain, and seemingly everlasting minutes of helplessness. Swish Swish Swish

Have you ever hugged someone and clung to each other for dear life, feeling as though if you let your grip loosen, if you even just moved an inch, that you’d fall off the face of the earth?

Have you cried on another’s shoulder not for your own pain, but for the struggles you foresee ahead for your boy – girl – loved one?

Have you ever felt utterly helpless when looking upon a child’s eyes…and then being unable mask your fear and talk to that child, to tell them “everything will be ok”?

Ever learned what you want in life more than anything else, only at the very moment that you learn it’s the one thing you cannot have?

Swish. What did I do? What can I do?




susannah said...

thank you.

and as i just red this it is pouring rain outside.
i can hear it.

monrovia can't.

Kel said...

Oh my gosh... It was nearly 10 months ago we learned out son was deaf and that brought it rushing all back. The worst part, the absolute worst, was having to tell his dad what we'd learned.

Thank you for sharing that. Of course, for both our boys the story has a pretty happy "ending," but I know I got through with stories like this one and am sure others will too.

Lucas'Mommy said...

That was beautifully written, and I can't wait to share it with my husband. Thank you.

Our day was snowy. Nate (hubby) came home early from work because of the snow, so we headed to the audi early. I will always remember d-day as being icy and cold, much like yours was wet.

tammy said...

Beautiful post.

I remember our ride home after finding out Aiden was deaf. Silent, as we held each others hand very tightly.

Monday is Aiden's activation day and I'm sure we will walk into Johns Hopkins the same exact way - silent, holding each others hand very tightly.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully poignant. It was a day I'll never forget either. There is so much I know now that I wish I could send to that me then.

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I am Trish Marie said...

Thank you for posting that. I think no matter how many years past that moment you are, you will always remember it like yesterday. I can remember the elevator ride down to the car, hearing it ping off every floor, and being mad that I could hear it. Later that day, long after everyone had fallen asleep, a clock began to drive me crazy. I could hear it ticking. It just didn't seem fair that I could hear something so insignificant, but daughter could possibly never even hear my voice. Seems like yesterday, although in one month we will approach the THIRD anniversay of Emmi's first implant!

JayBee* said...

this is so beautiful. i'm sitting here with tears running down my face. Thanks for sharing.

Adam Kaplan said...

Awesome poem. Great blog.
A fellow father

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this story ... so moving, and yes, I've been there too.

My "D Day" story is at