Saturday, April 12, 2014

An Interpreter to the Rescue!

These past few weeks have been very trying for me. My anti-depressant was taken away and I fell into a deep somberness. Crying for now reason, calling out to God to please help me get through this. And, of course, He did. One of the things I wanted to try was to attend church with my family. They go to church every Sunday, but there’s no interpreter for me. I could go to a different church, but, instead, I had gotten in the habit of just staying home. However, while I was truly struggling with my depression, I decided to do a search to see if anyone would be willing to come to my church and interpret for me. So, I sent the request to the head of the interpreter training program at a local college and found one wonderful student willing to take the bite.

Imagine how she felt…second year ASL student, never interpreted before outside of internships at college. She walks into this rather large church and shakes my hand. It was wonderful that she was willing to do this and I knew in my heart that, no matter what happened, we would forge through this day together.

Linda seemed a bit nervous when I saw her in the lobby, but I, too, was a basket of nerves. Not because I had an interpreter coming to church, but because I hadn’t been to church in years and I remembered no one. If you know me, though, you know that I’m always nervous and I have no short term memory whatsoever (my long-term memory ain’t that great either).

We only did Sunday School that day instead of both SS and church. I felt a little overwhelmed and thought it best to sit back in church and just read along with some of the pastor’s notes. SS was enough though for Linda, I’m sure. Picture an older gentleman, interacting with the class and reading Biblical scripture at the speed of rabbits. Linda basically took the reigns and held on. I was so impressed with her.

Sure, there were parts that were missed (so I was told), but none so much that it lost it’s meaning to me as she translated for me. I was dressed in this stupid pants outfit that made me feel like Liberace and I had forgotten shoes, so I finished off the outfit with some black, fluffy slippers. LOL Not the best church outfit, if you ask me.

Anyway, the point of the post is that Linda did a great job and I was once again reunited with the congregation my family has come to love and be attached to. She’s interpreting again on Easter and I’m very excited about that. Thanks, Linda. This really means the world to me!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Anywhere I go, things can get "interesting." Being asked questions, needing to ask questions myself, having to explain to whomever I am in contact with that I'm Deaf and cannot read lips--it gets old and I'm often misunderstood.

The other day had yet another couple of "interesting" experiences. First, I had to go through a fast food drive through for my daughter. Yelling into the speaker and having my daughter "interpret" what was being said--it turned into a yelling match...and not a fun one (as we all know yelling matches can be).

"I want a french fry with cheese and a vanilla shake." I have no idea what they said back. All my daughter did was nod. "What size," I asked her.

"Huh?" was her excellent retort.

"What size shake do you want?"

"Oh. Medium."

"I need a medium vanilla shake." I yelled into the speaker.

My daughter asked, "A second one?"

"Huh?" It must run in the family.

"A second vanilla shake?"

"No. I need the first shake to be medium."

"And what size for the second shake?" the people on the speaker obviously yelled.

"There is no second shake!!!" I was getting pretty frustrated by this point. "I need a french fry with cheese and a medium vanilla shake."

My daughter looked at me and nodded. "OK."

"OK, what?"

"You're done. Please pull forward," she smiled. Man, did I want to hit someone!

Later that day, I took my son to Subway as a way to get out of the house--just the two of us. The place was packed and there were four or five workers frantically trying to keep up with the crowd.

I let my son go first and then it was my turn. I'd been there many times, so I thought I could guess the questions the worker was going to ask me. Wrong.

As he went down the line, he finally stopped and asked me a one-word question of which I had no idea. My son was ahead of my--taking care of his own order--and I didn't want to bother him. Again the worker asked me something....."______?"

"Neutral?" was the only word I could guesstimate from him.

"What??" He was very confused. "_______?"

"Squirrel?" I tried again. I'm very bad at lipreading, in case you haven't guessed yet.

Finally, I think I caused enough stir in the line that my son noticed my struggle. He turned to me, "Mom, do you want it toasted?" Ahhhhhh...........

"Toasted? Really?? Man, I really stink at this. No thank you." We finished our orders and sat down to eat. My son, who is always there to start a great conversation, looked at my for a long time.

"What?" I finally asked. "You look like you have a question on your mind." I said.

"Yeah. I was just wondering, is it hard being Deaf?"

Hmmm. I pondered this and finally answered, "It has its moments. Sometimes good, sometimes bad." I was trying to be nice. What I really wanted to say was with great sarcasm--is it hard being Deaf?

Just a little.........