Dear Friends, Family & Readers – Today, I am sharing something a little more personal. Happy New Year!

My journey to silence on a winding road of hope.

I write this today because 2017 was brutal – in our world, in our nation and on my heart.
But my message isn’t about that, and while things may feel like they are crumbling or falling apart if you will, it’s not. As we ring in 2018, I want to emphasize what 2017 taught me: HOPE.

Yesterday, I sat in a piano shop with my husband while he was picking out my Christmas present to him, a new piano. He test drove a couple, but wasn’t satisfied. I sat there anxiously just wanting him to quickly make a decision. When he got done and didn’t pick one, I felt angry, disappointed and let down. He said we are “making an investment, and there is no need to hurry.” I on the other hand, felt quite different. The sales guy, a.k.a. the Piano Dude, sensing my intensity, asked us a few more questions, and finally I said, “We just need a piano, so I can hear him play as long as I can.” There it was, the truth. The sad truth.

I am going deaf.

As I type these words, my heart sinks and my eyes fill up with tears – not because I have a medical condition that will eventually cause me to go completely deaf. Not because I am missing life one sound at a time.

I am grieving.

Grieving the loss of laughter in a room full of family and friends – I can see their smiles, their reactions, emotions and their physical laughter, but the sounds are faint, muted or sometimes non-existent.

Grieving the loss of the sound my husband’s soft kisses on my neck. Grieving the sounds of my kids coming into my room and knowing what they’re saying to me.

Grieving “silly” little things too like what is sounds like when I itch my face it, the toilet flushing {who would have thought one would miss that}, the timer on the oven, the blinker in my car, a knock at the door and all the little things we take for granted, like rain on the windshield or my spouse tossing and turning or snoring in the night. Over the last six months, these things have diminished, along with some of my joy.

I am always exhausted.

Exhausted trying to listen, read lips, watch facial expressions, observe all the people in a room trying to capture every little thing that’s going on, not wanting to miss a thing and hoping to possibly piece together a portion of any conversation. Exhausted having to give 110% to something that used to come so natural.

Exhausted always wondering if someone thinks I’m being snotty when I don’t turn to them when they call my name or are talking at me from a direction I can’t see.

Exhausted at not knowing how much time I have left.

I began to disengage at home, in the blogging world, with my friends at church and those around me. It was easier for me to sit in silence at home during the day working on my blog because it didn’t require all of me like everything else did in my life. Because it was always there, silently waiting for me to bring it life. It waited, allowed me to do it on my own time, no conversation waiting for a reply or asking it to repeat itself. My blog, allowed me to be me, the non-exhausted, non-grieving me.

I silently kept it to myself until I finally broke. It all built up to one night as I laid in bed with my hubby. We kissed and I cried. I couldn’t hear our kissing. I cried and he held me. I told him, “I can’t hear” and he said, “I know.” He allowed me to come to terms with it, even though he knew long before I said anything.

We saw a couple of doctors and became hopeful there was a solution. And then my dreams were crushed.

Devastated, I broke down to a close group of friends. Slowly, in my own time, talking to them at a blogging retreat. The circle of love around me gave me strength.

Then one morning, my view was forever changed.

Lisa, my sweet friend, and I went on a walk. We talked for a few miles during a gorgeous sunrise in the mountains of Breckenridge. We talked about my hearing, our struggles and funny stories of our kids and spouses. While I don’t remember every detail of our conversation, this I will always remember one thing. While I told Lisa that I just didn’t have any hope, and that I was just working on accepting where I am at, she looked at me and conveyed a dear story of her mom battling cancer. When her mom was told that she didn’t have much time, her mom never gave up hope. Lisa asked her mom how she could feel this way. Her wise, loving and gracious mother’s thought was “You might as well assume a hopeful outcome because then you can enjoy that hope,” you can feel the joy in the journey. I cried. I think we both cried. Betty’s words forever changed me.

While I have completely accepted that it is okay for me to grieve my loss of hearing, that doesn’t by any means give me the right to lose hope, lose my joy, lose inner peace or my overall happiness.

2017 will not take away my hope. In fact, it invigorated it.

With all of the unrest in our nation and our world, and with some of us experiencing some of that or worse in our homes or within ourselves, we cannot – we must not give up hope.

When I decided to be hopeful, I found joy. I saw blessings I didn’t see before. I felt happiness in new ways, in new experiences and in things that before went unnoticed.

My journey to silence became one that brought new appreciation and respect for my body, my life and all those things around me.

With my kids, I pay attention more. I listen more. I am more engaged, more appreciative and acutely more aware of the sounds I am still granted to hear.

I sing more. I cry more. I rejoice more in the little pleasures of life.

I am more grateful for my husband, my kids, my family and sweet friends.

Recently, my family started to learn sign-language. And I started to think about us – you, me and all of us in this world together at this time. It became clear to me, we need to learn to communicate in other ways like my family is learning to talk – not only with the words from our mouths, but also by the expressions of our faces, signs with our hands, and kindness in our actions. Our world needs to learn sign, figuratively speaking. We need to expand the ways that allow ourselves to be understood more clearly and more importantly, which allow us to understand more.

Our world needs to learn new ways to communicate. New ways to show love. New ways to experience and express hope. Our world needs to be filled with more joy. This Christmas, I shared this quote by Hamilton Wright Mable: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”

What if we lived in that season and engaged in the conspiracy of love constantly and consistently in our lives? Would we feel more hope? Would it result in more joy in our journey? Unequivocally yes.

Engaging in love has brought me hope. Hope that we will find a way to allow me to hear my kids, and their kids, and my husband’s kisses and sweet words. A way to hear my favorite music, my sister’s voice on the phone filling me in our her day and my niece and nephew’s adventures, my girlfriends’ giggles at midnight, my mom and dad’s undying encouragement and hearing how much I am loved by all of the things around me.

Love will unite us.

Hope will bring us joy in this life. Joy in our imperfect journey – where people make mistakes, where illness can take a life, where sorrow can seem unending; hope is what we need. When we have hope, we find joy. When we find joy, we find peace.


My family.

The love of my life.

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  1. Oh friend…I’m so in awe and inspired by you and feel terrible for not knowing. Thanks for sharing and for always being a positive light in the world.

  2. You are blessed with family and friends who will be there for you no.matter.what. You’ll be in my prayers as it can’t be an easy road ahead, but your amazing attitude will be invaluable. xoxo

  3. My dear friend Kris Doyle sent me a link to your blog. I am going deaf, too. I have otosclerosis, a degenerative ear bone disease. I completely understand what you’re going through. Multiple surgeries & hearing aids have saved me & extended my career as a music teacher (oh sweet irony). Enjoy every moment!

  4. You’ve written about your life and your recent struggle so beautifully here. While I don’t know, or completely understand, what you must be going through, I appreciate your honesty and feel like I’ve learned a lot about life, my life, from you today, and I thank you for that! I wish you nothing but the best going forward. Happy New Year!

  5. Oh my goodness Sandra. This post is beautiful. Your family is beautiful. I love how raw and open you are in this. We could all do to appreciate every day fuller, and be kinder, and I love that lesson you’re trying to teach. Sending you love girl. I know Im not close, but if you ever need anything, Im here.

  6. A world without hope is not a world any of us want to live in. I have great hope in 2018. I pray that you find hope and peace with your current and ongoing health. God bless you and your family now and in the new year.

  7. God Bless you. I am sorry for trials and tribulations but it’s fantastic that your family is learning to Sign.. back in the 70´s, I worked in asocial serving type angency and took it upon myself to learn to Sign. I don’t remember any of it now but I was able to help the families of our hearing impaired. I used Sign and thought and still think it’s a beautiful language. You will find a new intimacy with your family because of Sign. I’m sorry for your malady but take comfort in the knowledge that your family wants to continue WITH you on your personal journey. You will enjoy inside jokes with them no matter how large your group is. Keep a good thought and practice your sign every day.

  8. When I see your photo, I see a lovely, happy family. A family that holds close when others only wish they were so blessed. When I hear your story, I hear your pain. When I think, what wise words can I share ? Am I wise in my older age, at least enough to give you comfort? Should I share instead someone else’s wise words? This morning I heard a person ministering on tv. He said if we spend our time in the past, we lose some of our future, we lose our time we could be enjoying with friends and family, and really noticing what the noise of life keeps us from “hearing” so to speak. Is what is happening a test of courage ? I believe we all our given “tests of courage”. Do we look it in the face and fight with all our being and all our might? Or do we let it defeat us , thus affecting those around us who count on us to lead the way and show strength. Is this your test of courage? It is ok, to be scared ! Give yourself permission to be , but face this as a test of courage and try hard to be courageous, Don’t let this test be more than a bump in the road because your family is in for the ride too ! Go over the bump and the multitude of bumps, and hills and mountains we have to conquer in our lifetime ! Hold on dear to your husband and children and know you are truly blessed no matter what ! You are not facing this alone, we your readers will walk along with you ! Come to us and let not your heart be burdened!

  9. What I wish you could hear is all the people wanting to be around you. Because you’re such a bright light. Learning sign language has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Maybe you’re the reason I’ll finally do it! Love you, friend.

  10. I look forward to watching your journey Sandra. You are a strong woman and anything you do and decide will be awesome! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers as you begin this journey into a new world. It is still YOUR world no matter which path you take.

  11. I cried…….I can sign ,but it’s been 10yrs since I took my one semester
    I love you and the amazing person you ate

  12. Dearest San,
    So very sad to hear about your hearing loss. I pray for a miracle for you, a touch of Gods hand to heal what is causing your hearing loss.
    I can’t imagine what you are going through. Your letter above, to everyone, really touched my heart. Thank you for sharing with us.
    You have a wonderful family, such beautiful children and a great, loving husband.
    Will you continue this blog? I hope so, as you have given me many great recipes.
    God Bless You!!!! I pray for His loving peace to be on you and your family.

  13. Sandy,
    I have known your mom and dad since they were in high school. I know the joy that you and your siblings and your children have brought to them. I see in you the same inner strength and loving positive approach to life that they have always demonstrated. It’s ok to grieve the losses that are present in your life. But your choice to live from joy will continue to give to you a life that is full and blessed. It’s such a good reminder to me to live in joy, to be fully in my own life, with all it’s ups and downs, and the lives of those around me. Thank you for this New Year’s blessing.

  14. Sandra – so sorry to hear this. I’m also hearing impaired and wear hearing aids. I understand the exhaustion from trying to read lips, pay attention to conversations, etc. if you ever need someone to vent to, I’m here.

  15. Sandra, I can’t imagine what you are going through. But what a wonderful, heartfelt post this is about the power of hope. You are a beautiful person, inside and out, and I know you will continue to be an inspiration to so many people.

  16. It’s hard to know what to say to someone going through such a difficulty such as yours. First of all, I would like to say that I think it was very brave of you to share this with others. Also, you have a beautiful family, and I’m so glad for you that you have a supportive husband. You spoke of hope for your future and appreciation for what you have now, you have inspired me, and I hope this helps you through this journey of yours. You express a faith in the Bible, and I hope these scriptures will be of encouragement to you.
    Isaiah wrote of a time when “no resident will say: ‘I am sick’ ” (Isa. 33:24), and about prophecies giving promise of spiritual and physical cure (Isa. 35:5,6). Jesus Christ, when on earth, accomplished both physical and spiritual healing as recorded at Matthew 8: 14-17, as well as at many other places in the gospels of the Bible. The Bible also assures us of a hope in the near future when God promises a time when mankind will receive permanent release from disease on earth as recorded at Revelation 21: 3-5, where it says: “the former things have passed away”. I hope these scriptures have been an encouragement to you, as the sharing of your journey has been to me. KS

  17. I cried with you reading this, but I’m so glad you are hopeful and looking at the positives. My son’s foreign language is sign language and now I will pay more attention to it when he signs to me! I can hopefully meet you in person someday and practice:-) Love and prayers to you. I’m so sorry you are going through this. Mourning with you from afar. (((Hugs)))

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