One year ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Relieved and Grateful” about restarting my cochlear implant marathon after being re-implanted. Last week, I had my one-year mapping session and now I can truly be GRATEFUL for the GIFT of hearing. This has been the theme of the year which started in January of 2022 when I bought myself a gratitude journal. It was a simple and powerful way to start the year and each day and let you see what is present in your life instead of what isn’t. As I reflect back on this past year, GRATEFUL is the theme for my continued marathon journey, the lessons, and the growth.
Relationships are an essential part of my life both personally and professionally. Communication is a 2-way street where the message must be sent and received. Relationships are complex; as humans, we are wired to connect with those around us. What prompted the cochlear implant journey in 2019 was the realization that communication was becoming more and more difficult with my hearing aids. My family and my friend’s native language is spoken English. I did not want to lose this connection with them and recognized that I was struggling. Reflecting back on this past year, I am grateful for being reconnected with my husband, kids, parents, friends, and colleagues. I am grateful for the gift of hearing to be curious and confident once again in striking up conversations with others. I am grateful for the treasured streaming phone calls to my parents on my way to work to find out about their upcoming day in the life of retirement. I am grateful for the gift of hearing to allow me to listen to podcasts on my long drives between school buildings. I am grateful for the bimodal gift of hearing to listen to music to enlighten my day. When I reflect back on this marathon journey of getting a cochlear implant; I realize that the alternative of NOT pursuing this for my personal journey; would have been depriving myself of the opportunity to have meaningful connections with those I love and those who I will come to know and love in the future. Grateful for the gift of the amazing technology of cochlear implants, hearing aids, assistive hearing technology, and communication strategies. What a gift to have all of you who support me on this CI marathon.
During this upcoming gift giving season, I hope that all of you can be grateful for the relationships and communication that you have with the humans that are important in your life.