Recently I received a phone call from my sister. Coming from a family of 1 brother and 9 sisters, she was the one I have connected to the most, gloves off and heart always open.
She was overwrought with grief about losing her hearing. She had lost the hearing on her left side years ago, and is now losing her hearing on the right. On top of it, the constant ringing of tinnitus lurks in the distance and will soon be the only sound she will ever hear.
She was the sister full of adventure! Wilderness hikes are my favorite childhood memories with her; singing “Que Sera Sera” as we marched along, the older kids holding the hands of the smaller ones, over the terrain to discover bugs and flowers, closing our eyes and listening to the rush of the rivers and the wind in the leaves.
We spoke of her employment possibilities now, at age 51, the challenges she will face in the future, and the sadness about never being able to hear the deep baritone voices of her sons singing their home-written songs. My heart bleeds for her! I feel her fear and sadness deep into my own soul.
I have become more aware of every single sound that surrounds me and I do not ever want to take it for granted, that simple gift of hearing.
As we came to the close of our conversation, both of us sniveling messes of nose-blowing and tissue, I was moved with the perspective that welled up from her sorrow.
“Dad once told me that ‘You cannot sit amoung the well and make a difference, you make a difference by helping other’s become well.’ ”
She was comforted by the memory of that conversation; that there was something she could still offer from this silent, ringing, journey that is soon to be her’s. A new circle and a new path; that there will be other’s in need of her to help them through their fear.
No matter what our journey is; no matter how far along the path we are, there is someone trying hard to keep up, who looks up to us, who is reaching for our hand to simply be encouraged a little farther toward the finish line.
Take a look around and offer your helping hand. Offer them a way to give back to a charity that affects them personally. You will make a big difference in their world!