Ten years ago today I was healing from my first cochlear implant surgery and waiting for my activation day. I was recovered enough to go back to work and since my job did not require phone communication, I was back at my desk doing proofing and data entry. I was living in complete silence with hope that the cochlear implant would ease my struggles with communication.
It was just another day to pass while waiting for the big activation day. The waiting was hard as my mind was filled with constant wondering about what hearing with a cochlear implant was going to be like. The distraction of work was a good thing until there was a change in the people around me. I could see them talking, but nobody would tell me what was going on. The co-worker next to me was crying and though she was usually willing to talk to me so I could read her lips, she was unable to even look at me and tell me what was going on - until she was able to say, “Paula is okay.” My daughter Paula is a flight attendant with United Airlines.
After my mother-in-law had called the office and told the receptionist to tell me that she talked with Paula and that she was on the ground in Cincinnati, my co-workers then did their best to tell me what was happening. Some of them decided to leave work early so I did too. I wanted to know more about what was going on and I needed a TV with closed captioning and the comfort of familiar communication with family. At home, I watched in silence the horrors of the attacks and the updates the media provided. The captioning on my TV being my link to the world. Today, I remember the horror of September 11, 2001. I pray for my country and my fellow Americans and find comfort in the tributes and memorials created in the process of healing. As I reflect on all this, I am reminded how far our souls travel from sadness to joy and silence to sound.