New Year, New Ears
In the last five years, or maybe even longer, I have slowly been losing interest in activities that I used to love.
Movies have become dull, except during the Cinemalaya Festival (Filipino Indie Films) where all movies have English sub-titles; TV shows have become a bore; and yakking on the phone for long hours with my sister, Lucy (my friend in California), and best cousin in New York have become an ordeal.
I have likewise shunned using or answering calls on my mobile phone, preferring to read text messages.
I conveniently blamed my waning interests on aging. But I was actually in denial. What I was losing was not my interest, but my ears.
Like my grandmother and mother before me (yes, it’s in the genes), my sense of hearing has deteriorated to a point where I hear words other than what are said:
First day vs. birthday
Tea vs. three
Daily vs. baby
Ryan vs. Gian
Ringing vs. meeting
Results? Wrong answers to the right questions, and vice-versa.
Son #2, a doctor and who calls from the US, must have known what I was going through. I’d immediately pass on the phone to Tony, or speak so loud the phone receiver popped. Once or twice, he had mentioned “hearing aid” but because it costs an arm and a leg, I was prepared to go through the rest of my life without ears.
All that has come to pass.
As a Christmas gift, son# 2 and his wife said I could have any hearing aid of my choice. So I headed to the Active Hearing Center where I was fitted by a nice, young lady with a pair of Siemens thingies. They are so discreet, you'd never know they're there unless you stared.
And guess what?
I am dying to watch the next movie, the TV shows I missed, and once again, I am looking forward to long phone chats with my sister, Lucy, and my best cousin.
Now, I hear every epithet some of my students utter under their breath, behind my back. I have abandoned my front-row seat during faculty meetings. And I am able to understand all the items put forth in our prayer meetings. The better to hear of how God’s grace works in people’s lives.
I feel gargantuan guilt that these two tiny widgets in both my ears cost one big motorcycle and a bike, but hey, I console myself, a mom costs more than that.
This New Year, I have new ears! I think I can hear you applauding.