I have an actual paying job as a writer for our local paper. I'm in a team of op-ed types and three of us are given a question and our responses are put in the paper. It's called "Community Triple Take" and it's been a great source of writer's ed for the last 4 years. I get alot of positive feedback from friends at church and the kid's schools. Every once in a while, I get a some not so great feedback, but we can't all be Joan Didion or Ann Landers, can we?
This week's column is on "who I admire the most".
Here is my response.
She was born in 1942 in Alberta , the eldest of three children to not the best parents on the planet. She had problems with her knees and spent months with plaster casts on each leg. In her teens she contracted scarlet fever and over time, lost ninety percent of her hearing. Her mother, remember, not the best example of a parent, accused her of faking her hearing loss for attention. I don’t know about you, but if I was going to fake something for attention, it would be a mild stomach ailment. She married at the tender age of eighteen and was a mother by the time she was nineteen. Another child followed two years later, and while her third was on its way, her young husband felt the need to be free of his responsibilities. At the age of twenty two, she was a mother of three little ones and newly divorced. She returned to Mr and Mrs Lousy Parents because where else could she go? After going away to the big city to get trained for a job that would allow her to support her children, she brought them to live fulltime with her. She worked very hard and had very little of the fun that twenty-somethings like to have. Day to day life was her children, her job and her faith. A decade after her world came crashing in, she married a fabulous, exotic, dashing man. She went from a housing project to a house with a yard, a cherry tree and the peace that comes with having someone love her enough to leave cultural conventions behind and marry her despite a few disapproving nods. The burden of providing for her children lessened, but so did the strength of her hearing. She was one of the first people in her region to have a dog specifically trained to help the deaf, and he was a treasure! He was as smart as a whip and did his job very well, unless there was a cat out on the lawn, then he struggled a bit. As all good things do, his time with her came to an end and he was missed greatly. After being tested and tested again, she received a cochlear implant. After decades of hearing very little, she was “switched on” and instantly had 100% hearing! Now she can listen to her favourite music and speak to her grandchildren on the phone. She’s travelled all over the world and is planning a very special trip next spring with her daughter. When trials came her way, she kept going. Her faith never wavered. She is an amazing woman to so many people, but to me, she is “Mom”.