The Sweetest Words Ever Heard

Many things in life we take for granted.  We don’t realize how blessed we are until something is taken away.  Let’s look at the humble remote control.  I remember growing up with a TV that did not have a remote.  Actually, my father later would call me his remote.  It was my job as the youngest of the family to manually change the channels.  I would sit by the TV and slowly switch channels until my father was happy with what was shown on the television.  Sometime later the amazing remote control was created.  All one had to do was sit back in their recliner and change the channel using this handy-dandy invention.  No more was I used as the human remote.  I too could sit back and relax.  I wonder if we realize how easy things are for us today.

It was not until last week, when I was reminded of the ease I have been given in life.  My remote control broke.  Today, TV’s have become more complicated and I was unsure of how to even begin to change the channel.  For five whole days we have been watching DVD’s because no one wants to be the human remote.  I do have to say it was much easier switching the channels manually between three channels than it is between 100 channels.  We really didn’t realize how blessed we were in this day and age until the remote died.

There are many more important things that we take for granted.  It is truly a blessing to be able to walk, write, sing, listen to birds, and smell fresh bread.  We don’t even realize the amazing gifts we have been given, until they are gone.  I was watching a show the other day were a woman lost her sense of smell due to a surgery.  You might think that losing smell would maybe be the easiest sense to lose, but this lady was a chef.  Her career is directly linked to her ability to smell.  Her life had drastically changed when she lost something that had seemed so small.

My son, Jonathan, was born with some hearing difficulty in his right ear.  When he was no more than a couple of days old the hospital did a hearing test on him.  The test showed that there was a problem with his right ear.  We did more tests shortly after that, but they were all inconclusive.  For many years, we played the game of him failing a hearing test, and then retaking a hearing test only to get different results.  At the end of Kindergarten all of that changed.  There would no longer be differing tests.  Jonathan had lost all hearing in his right ear.  Now, you would think that losing the hearing in one ear would be okay, but it was life changing for Jonathan.  He could not sit in the back of the class.  He could not hear the announcements coming over the intercom.  He could not hear all of his friends talking.  He had to look straight at the teacher when she was speaking.  He began to talk in a loud voice which disturbed those around him.  He would get confused in loud places, and was very uncomfortable at concerts, plays, pool, zoo, church, and many more distracting places.  Life had changed for my little boy.

Jonathan has osteosclerosis of the middle ear.  Instead of the little bones in his ear vibrating so he could hear, they were fused together.  For awhile he must have had some movement with the bones, but as he got older all function of his inner bones had ceased.  Jonathan was now labeled partially deaf or hard of hearing.

Once Jonathan was diagnosed we began changing things at home and at school.  At school he would get special seating so he could hear the teacher.  He had a special worker who would come and teach him how to advocate for his own needs, take care of his ears, and the use of special tools to enhance his learning experience.  At home we would all get used to the way he would talk, stay quieter in the car, and talk to his face and not behind him.  We would also begin visiting his hearing doctor more often.

The first thing we would do with Jonathan would be a surgery to try to replace the fused bones.  Sadly, this surgery not only failed once, but twice.  I did not want to see Jonathan go through this pain again for something that would only disappoint and hurt him.  That is why I was very reluctant to allow Jonathan to go through the next procedure that the doctor wanted to try.  He talked about a special hearing cochlear implant called the BAHA.  This device would require a special rod to be place in the bone behind his ear.  It would act as a microphone sending vibrations into the bone to create sound.  We did many tests before we even began looking into this procedure.  The doctor was sure that Jonathan would be a great candidate for the BAHA.  After many prayers, lots of research and advice we decided to do it.

In January, Jonathan had surgery.  For the next five months we would have to wait while the bone healed and formed around the rod.  Then June 3rd came.  Jonathan woke up full of excitement. Yes, Vacation Bible School was starting at church, but that is not what had Jonathan totally stoked.  He knew he was getting fitted for his new hearing device.  He was excited and I was scared.  I did not want this to fail.  I did not want Jonathan disappointed.

Sitting in the waiting room was hard for Jonathan.  You would think that he was waiting for a ride at Disney World.  He was bubbling and I was worrying.  The nurse took us back to see the doctor first.  We had to get the okay to proceed today.  After the doctors confirmation we were headed to the audiologist.  There she showed us a little box that would hopefully change Jonathan’s life.  After the doctor gave us all the directions and information on how to use it and take care of it, the device was placed on Jonathan’s head.  A few test were done, then Jonathan started to get very excited.  He looked at me with the biggest smile and said, “I can hear you Mommy.”  Tears of joy flooded my face and hugs were shared all around.  Jonathan’s hearing had been restored.

Many times we forget how blessed we are.  We have been given so many things from God, but we take it for granted.  It is not until we lose something, that we realize what we have lost.  Praise God for the chance to smell, the chance to walk, the ability to dance, and the ability to hug, touch, and see.  We are truly blessed.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

– Donna Riley


4 thoughts on “The Sweetest Words Ever Heard

  1. Great article Donna! We love you and Jonnie so much. Such a special guy he is. So thankful that God has given us your wonderful family at FCC. Thank you Lori for sharing such a sweet story with us.

  2. This is a wonderful article. I recently got hearing aids and they are such a blessing. I can relate a little bit of how Jonathan feels. I do not have to say “what” any more because I usually hear people and I can hear and understand the preaching and teaching at church.

  3. nos temos um blog sobre essas coisas bem sinistros essas coisas o nome do nosso blog é : giasogabicacafantkama.blegspot.com espalhe fazendo um favor adoramos o seu blog

  4. The item that I've collected over the years are memories! I take millions of photos of everything so I don't forget where I've been and who with. Also when I travel I like to collect postcards but I send them back home so I get to collect the stamps from the different countries as well!

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