Fifteen years ago today, I began a shared journey with my husband.
Hearing loss didn’t affect us on our wedding day. It entered our lives five years later. What did happen on June 15, 1996, as I fluttered around the church full of hope, nerves and wedding cake, was a vow. In front of our parents, college buddies, co-workers, and a few strangers, we promised to love each other through sickness and in health.
Neither one of us had experienced major illness together, except for food poisoning on one of our first date nights from a notorious seafood dinner. As I became friends with the bathroom trash that evening, my new boyfriend rushed from the store with Sprite for me. The next day, I woke up tired and in love with this guy I’d known less than a month.
Just shy of five years married with a newborn son at home, that guy I walked down the aisle with took quite a few phone calls from friends and family. All of them congratulating us on producing this beautiful, healthy boy who slept more on my shoulder during the daytime than in his crib at night.
Ten weeks later, an exhausted mommy returned to work. My guy picked up our little boy each evening from daycare and got dinner going. My heart and head hurt when I dropped that boy off in the morning, but I feigned perfect health when I returned home. All those glorious hours rocking my baby to sleep or feeding him in the middle of the night caused my love for both my big and little guys to swell. Until I had to face that morning drive to work.
Alone in the car, I knew something wasn’t right. In complete silence, I heard crickets chirping and birds whistling. Trying to fall asleep at night, the crickets and birds (not to mention a night owl baby) did their best to keep me awake. My ears heard sounds that no one else could. A month later, a doctor told me these sounds were caused by tinnitus, the beginning stages of a progressive hearing loss.
In sickness and in health…
Fifteen years ago today, my husband promised he would remain with me whether I threw up in a trash can, or struggled to get out of bed in the morning, or couldn’t hear his voice as clearly as the day before.
Hearing loss is a shared journey. Thank you, Scott, for sharing it with me all these years.