I had my first near death experience at 13 months old. It all started with a bold decision to nose dive off of a counter top that was bar height, I landed straight on my head and yeah, you guessed it, it didn’t end well.
After being rushed to the hospital it was determined I had cracked my head open, caused a spinal fluid leak, and had a whole bunch of damage to the part of your brain that translates audio information to your brain. After the fabulous doctors at Loyola Hospital in Chicago saved my life, they sent me home to recover. Everything ended up being okay, well except for the fact that I am completely deaf in my life ear and partially deaf in my right.
I’ve never known a world where I could talk on the phone on both sides, walk on the right hand side of someone and still have a conversation, or hear a single thing anyone is saying without lip reading. You see, no one in my family was hard of hearing or knew sign language or what to do with someone who had severe hearing loss. The school system I grew up in didn’t either. I was a terrible student who never paid attention and no one there really cared that I couldn’t hear what was going on. I needed to figure it out. So I did.
I became a master at reading people. You learn a lot really paying attention to not only the words someone is saying but how they say them. The facial expressions, the body language, the micro aggressions, everything. Human beings are like walking books or art. Something to stand back and watch all the moving pieces of. But I often find now, people get lost in thinking of what they want to say in response to only the words they hear. For this reason, I love being Deaf.
I like to think I’m a reckless optimist. It means that I choose to make the best of these crazy circumstances and events I’ve lived through in hopes it inspires other people to believe in resilience. And this little life hack was something I learned this from my mom.
Now, I simply must take a minute to tell you about my mom because I promise you it’s worth every second of your time. Now my mom is the definition of light and love. When she walks into a room it simply lights up. Her laugh, her smile, her presence can take anyone’s day and fill it with a moment of magic. The best thing about her... she has no idea she’s even doing it. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be just like my mom. To live a life of grace and radiate as much love as my being possibly can.
Every night when as I grew up my mom would sing “you are my sunshine“ in my good ear. As a kid it was my peace before I could slip off into dreams of sunflowers and stars. As an adult, it became the words that defined my strength.
About a year ago I recorded my mom singing this song, created a visual of the sound waves, and I tattooed it behind my completely deaf ear. Because if I lose every ounce of hearing I have, I will never lose the sound of my mom singing you are my sunshine. That’s the most precious thing I have to this day.
I love you mom🖤
About the author
Hi Guys I’m Dani! Welcome to my life upside down. I’ve been a fitness professional for 10 years & I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be strong in your mind, body, and spirit, all while picking up a couple wild stories along the way🖤