Silence

It is very seldom that I shed tears of joy. This day, I did shed them though. Out of the goodness of someone’s heart, my brother received the best pair of hearing aids that he has ever had. He is happy about it and that is something to cry about. 

My brother was born with a hearing impairment. Over the years, it has gotten worse. He has tried a couple of times to wear hearing aids. They were always provided by charitable organizations. I am very thankful for the work that they do, but of course the quality of the devices that my brother used was in the lower range. He thus never enjoyed wearing them. He would complain that everything was too loud, giving him a headache. It was supposed to help him but those moments he was wearing them turned out to be very unpleasant experiences. To add to this, I have to confess that our family is not a very good source of support. First of all, we did not have money to sustain the maintenance that the hearing aids needed. Second of all, we did not fully appreciate its value. When Kurt says he wanted to stop wearing them, we would be perfectly fine with it. We did not have the energy to oppose this. Kurt lives a life relatively far from what is normal, but he is happy and functional. We didn’t much worry about how else life could be better.
Kurt hardly ever went to school. He doesn’t have close friends. But he survives. I’ve always wanted something better for him. I still wish he could learn to read, do math, or commute on his own. I never did do anything about it though. I am a speech pathologist. I work with other professionals in the same field as I am. I encounter individuals with special needs. I am in the perfect situation to finally provide my brother with a shot at a better life. Yet I find my brother in the same situation he’s been in since we were kids. Happy and functional, yet full of unfulfilled potential.
I do want to give myself some credit and actually deserve it. I have not been able to put my brother at the top of my priority list but I know that when he needs me, I will be there. I am working hard on improving my life so that in the future I could finally put him in the top spot. I have given my brother some things but I still owe him a lot. I am all forms of grateful for the good people who help me and my family support Kurt. Sometimes we lack motivation. Most of the time we lack money. But we are good people and we are surrounded by good people. I owe my brother a lot. Thankfully, I have a whole community lending me a hand.

An Ode

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You taught me to look at a high branch

And see it as a goal

That I could reach whatever I want 

No matter if it’s big or small
You taught me to care for a dog

And love it like family

That sure they bark, snarl and bite

But they have the heart of a darling
You taught me that the lights of a firework

Are not just some powder exploding

It is the sound that the eyes can see

When the ears couldn’t hear a thing
You taught me to love when you’re at the end of your string

Every human is good and deserving

Of the forgiveness and humanity

That from your heart eternally springs
You taught me to take wounds

As a sign of your strength

You’ve been beaten and trudged on

But you’ll fight till the end of your breath
You taught me to play like I were a kid

To ride, to run, and even to fall

You’ve sowed a baby seed

Of awe and wonder deep in my soul
You taught me to marvel at the simplest of things

Sitting on the second floor of a two-decker bus

Walking at the airport, pulling our bags

Nothing can ever match that sparkle in your eyes
You taught me to laugh and to live and to love

I am who I am because of your laughter, life, and love

Thank you for the lessons that I have learned through the years

They will be with me through happiness and tears