My mother is 93 years old. I’d say she wears it well, to which she adds, “Considering the alternative.” Last Monday, she got hearing aids. I called her throughout the big day. She finally answered the phone around bedtime.
“Good thing you caught me between songs,” she said. “I’m listening to Barbra Streisand. Now I know why you like headphones so much.”
“So the hearing aids are pretty cool, eh?”
“Cooler than cool,” she said. I feel I’m reconnecting with the world.”
“Speaking of connecting,” I said, “Helen Keller said that seeing connects you with things but hearing connects you with people.”
“She ought to know,” said my mom. “I was missing so much. You wouldn’t believe the talk among the ladies at dinner tonight. What does LGBT mean? I wish there was a way for you to get some eyesight back.”
“Me too. I could stand a little more connection with things,” I said. “But I’m grateful for my hearing. I don’t think I could handle deafness.”
“That’s what you said about your eyesight,” said my mom. “But you’ve done so much. Heck, Helen Keller couldn’t handle life until she learned how to connect with people and her environment. Remember The Miracle Worker?”
“Vividly,” I said. “I guess we all have a limit to what we think we can tolerate. If we just focus on loss, that is. Still, I can’t imagine losing the pleasure of audio books, music and familiar voices. To say nothing of survival sounds like traffic.”
“The unknown can be pretty scary,” said my mom.
“Got anything else planned for your big day?”
“Absolutely,” said my mom. “And I have to go now. Julie Andrews is waiting. The hills are alive with the sound of music.”
“Keep the headphones on, mom. You don’t want to wake the neighbors.”