On a beautiful June day in 1981, I was the picture of happiness. My hubby and I were out with friends frolicking around Lake Erie on their new boat, enjoying the sunshine, fresh air, good company and conversation about each of our dreams and plans for the future. For myself, after having endured a very difficult, challenging childhood, I was ecstatic about how things had come together in my life. Married for four years by that time, we still felt and acted like newlyweds and on top of that, I was finally well on my way to reaching my ultimate career dream of being a successful recording engineer/producer in radio and advertising. Within a few short hours though our lives were about to drastically change.
Disembarking from the boat and without any forewarning, I suddenly keeled over landing flat on my face on the dock. Although completely flat on a solid, stable surface, I was sure that I was in the process of falling from an enormous skyscraper. (Think Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo.) I’ll save you from the long, gory details but the upshot was that at the relatively young age of 27, I had suffered Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss that day which left me completely and permanently deaf in my left ear and with a 70% hearing loss in my right ear. My career was over in that instant.
This is not a blog for self-pity, though. If you’ll recall, the underlying message of this blog is about surviving – and more than that, it is about not merely surviving, but thriving. Step-by-step, growing with the journey in ways that I had never dreamed, expected, or planned, I have never spent a moment mourning what I did not have nor what I once had but lost because I’ve always felt blessed for what I do have. So while I may no longer have music in my life in the manner that I once knew it, I have such rich and vivid memories that I can bring them to mind to enjoy again and again to relive the emotional feeling I used to derive from hearing live music. I am still able to feel the music and what’s more, I can now create happy little visual images that remind me of the joy of music. So what’s there to mourn? The truth is, happiness really IS a decision we each have within our control no matter what hurdles may also stand before us.
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