I honestly thought I said all there is to share on this topic and emptied myself real good in those deaf awareness posts. Turns out I have a little more beans I could spill.
While sorting out technical difficulties with the hosting company before our MDF website went live, the IT guy and I made small talk, which lead to real talk. He asked me why sorting out the error was so important to me. I’m sure he wished he never did coz those of you who know me will understand how into-it I get when telling someone about happenings. Anyways, he then asked a question which I never thought about but had the answer to straight away …
It Guy: “So, did Boyfriend lose his hearing while you guys were dating?”
This made me realize that, No.1 – I should not refer to Laz as “Boyfriend” when I speak to complete strangers coz I’m not feeling it when they call him that, and No.2 – This guy wasn’t listening to the full story or he couldn’t hear over my damsel in distress voice.
Me: “Thank God – NO!”
IT Guy, *confused: “It’s clear to me that you love this guy. Why are you then so happy that you missed out on this life changing moment?”
I guess being there would have made me ULTIMATE girlfriend goals, wouldn’t it? It would have made of me an “honourable lady” had he lost his hearing and I was there through trying times to support him and stayed through the traumatic events. I’m glad I missed it though … honestly I am.
Had that been the case, knowing myself and being the loyal-to-the-core person that I am, I most certainly would’ve stayed, and a time would have come where I would question if it’s out of love or pity. And I’d hate to be in that situation.
I came on the scene much later, and when I consciously chose him, I chose deafness too. I chose to be exposed to a world I knew nothing about. I chose to be with a person who only has 4 senses. I chose to love a man with an invisible disability, and I’m happy with the choices I made (Who am I kidding?? This guy tricked me into falling in love with him and then it was too late).
Boyfriend was so upfront about his deafness. Our first meet-up we had coffee while sitting under the 3rd palm tree from the robot at Shark Rock Pier in Port Elizabeth and he showed me how his hearing aid works. Not the sexiest first date anybody would imagine but it’s definitely one I appreciated.
His deafness didn’t matter much to me as we were mostly communicating through text messages, and visits were only a few hours short. Things changed when he started visiting us, meaning he came over for weekends. Then his deafness/hearing mattered a little more. Laz naps (a lot!). He’d fall asleep with his hearing aid on, or he’d take it off and put it on the floor or table next to him, and I found myself somehow feeling responsible for looking after this hearing device. I’d either take it off had he fallen asleep with it on, or put it away safely if he left it “laying around” coz it’s expensive and delicate. Plus, I like to be heard! (face palm)
Dating someone with a “disability” requires adjustments to be made and lots of consideration. After a while it becomes second nature and so effortless. The unspoken terms and conditions of our relationship includes me transcribing Whatsapp voice notes, answering and making calls on his behalf … and a few other stuff that is not so kwaai but love compels me.
Is it really the magic glue that holds relationships together?
It isn’t very LOVE-ly not conversing while driving in a car. And I absolutely love long road trips, especially when it starts to rain. It isn’t very LOVE-ly when we go swimming in the ocean (something we are both very fond of) and him not able to hear the funny stuff I come up with in that moment. It’s also not very LOVE-ly when I need help and call for him but he’s a no show, and it’s not very LOVE-ly when he can’t hear me while I’m talking in my sick or crying voice .
This kinda makes it seem like I’m getting the short end of the stick, doesn’t it? Don’t worry … Dating the Deaf/disabled does not mean that you’ll be “on duty”. It simply means that you’ll be a helper. We all need some help at times, don’t we? If I were to list the things he does for me or the adjustments he has made to accommodate me, your eyes will start to hurt from staring at the screen too long! Our relationship is mutually beneficial.
We need to accept that deafness and other disabilities CAN result in issues such as communication problems which can be the source of fights and break-ups. We all know that Love covers a multitude of sin, and that Love never fails. That it is greater than hope and faith, but is Love enough?
I would like to believe that the 1 Cor 13:4-8 kinda Love really is enough!
Coz for a relationship to not only survive but to thrive, we need some patience and to sprinkle each other with kindness. We need not envy. We should not throw the other’s “shortcomings” in his\her face. We should not be boastful or proud. We should never dishonour each other in any shape, way or form for any reason whatsoever … get where I’m going?
Then YES! LOVE is ENOUGH!
BETTER TOGETHER 👫 As I'm sipping on my coffee sliding through the photos of the #MDFLaunch (I'v done this close to a hundred times 🙈) …it still feel so unreal. Like, how did we get here? and so fast? The way people support our cause and buys into your #vision truly boggles my mind. There is no explanation for this other than the favour of God resting upon this initiative 🙌 I know in my heart of hearts that we'll be effecting change and making waves #globally 🗺, that we'll be blessed beyond our wildest dreams and find favour in unexpected places. We are so privileged that we get to do the things that makes the things to be done… together 👫 and with family & friends. You are a real life #superhero 👊and ur girl is bursting with pride 🎆 I love how me pursuing my #purpose serves yours at the same time! 💻💼 Never have I ever dreamt that I'd be going this hard for the #Deaf now I know that all the other #charity work was preparation for #MayaDeafFoundation 🔇 You inspire me Boyfriend, and I love u so ❤ #HearingLoss #HearingAids #CochlearImplant #DeafAwareness #NPO #NonProfitOrganization #MDF #NotDEAFeted ACTS 20:35 📜 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard #work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
I never thought I’d spend my September months the way I am now, devoting my time and efforts to campaigning for the d/Deaf and trying to spread awareness but here I am. I wouldn’t want to spend this month any other way. I’d choose this life over and over again!
So I’d like to tell somebody to not be afraid of dating someone who has special needs. Just be open and honest with one another. It’s a different kind of fun after you’ve worked through the frustration. And NEVER stay out of pity. They’ll notice and you’ll do more harm than good!
Choose well. I have!