Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Vibration Of Love

By Lynn Roaten Terrell

Lori, our precious daughter, you are sleeping soundly in your room, once again oblivious to the adventure you are about to undertake. But this time, you are not starting to school, becoming a teenager, or flirting with your first admirer, as when I've written you before. This time, your adventure will not start out as exciting or wonderful. For, this time, you will become deaf.

I thought if I wrote it down like I usually do, it would be easier. I was wrong. The reality is that you will not just have a "little problem hearing," as we have frequently explained to our guests. But, by the time you begin high school next fall, you will not be able to hear. At all.

When you were nine, a doctor said rather coldly, "I guess you know you're going to become deaf!"

I asked you how you felt about that, and you replied with your usual philosophic perspective, "Well, we've always known it might happen one day, Mom. So, if it does, it's for a reason." Then, lighting up with that special radiance for which you are famous, you added, "Maybe God just wants me be the teacher of deaf children!"

I wish I could be as practical as you. But why would He want me to be the mother of a deaf child? I am certainly not qualified for such an enormous responsibility. Why, sometimes, I don't even like children!

You are much better prepared than I am. You have the patience I never had. You glow with the inner assurance that you are capable of taking on anything He has to offer. But, isn't this carrying things too far? Don't you ever feel the anger and frustration I sometimes feel?

I taught you to be awed when life got tough, as it reaffirmed you were made of "special stuff." For God promised we wouldn't have to experience more than we could handle -- not just to endure life, but to experience it with grace and dignity through His love.

When you were ten, I was told I had an incurable, disabling disease. A week later, I sat with you in the emergency room, mechanically wondering if the cleaners would be able to remove the car tracks from the back of your coat, and marveling that your thermos did not break -- though half of your lunch box was completely flattened.

A few days later, a nine-year-old boy and his grandmother were struck by a car at a bus stop, just like you were. But they didn't live. You obviously still had things to do in this life.

Within a few weeks, we had an earthquake, a severe windstorm, our new car was stolen, we were mistakenly told that your brother had leukemia, and you had another operation.

"What now, God?" I found myself asking every morning. And the Lord always answered, "I have plans for you. Trust Me, and I will guide you through."

So, that's what we did. Ken's hemorrhaging slowed and his blood was normal, your hearing improved, we got our car back, and repaired the damage from the earthquake and wind.

And that's what we did again last year when the doctor said, "We've spent twelve years trying to save Lori's hearing. Now she has a serious infection next to her brain. It's time to admit that everything has been done that is humanly possible. It's time that we stop the heroics and sacrifice her hearing to save her life."

Prayers were offered for you throughout our small farming community as people prayed you wouldn't have to go through this. We enrolled the family in signing classes, and tried to prepare your brother for the changes in our lives. But, it was the little things that were so painful.

You went through kindergarten without receiving one demerit, while others collected them by the dozens. I told you that you would get one sooner or later, so not to worry about it when you did. In the spring, I explained to your teacher that you would have a problem hearing for a few days because of an infection.

That afternoon you plopped down on the couch and said, "Well, Mom, I got my first demerit today for "failure to pay attention."'

My first reaction was anger. How could that teacher be so insensitive? Then, realizing the magnitude of that first demerit, you wiped your forehead and exclaimed, "Boy, I'm glad that's behind me!"

That was your last demerit for several years. But, being both hearing- impaired and being an exceptionally good student, you were somewhat unfamiliar with the finer points of disciplinary protocol.

Your teacher called me in shock. "Lori was put on detention for forging her father's name on a homework notice. I just wanted to ask you not to punish her."

"You see, everyone gets demerits -- except for her. So, anyone else would have been expelled. But, Lori sat right there in front of us and signed the paper without even trying to disguise her handwriting. After we recovered from the shock, we asked her why she did it, explaining the seriousness of her actions."

"Well, you said when I came in today, you wanted to see my father's name on the line. So, I put it there -- and now, you're yelling!''

You were presented the Christian Character Award the next week -- the highest award your school offered. "It must have already been at the engraver's," your Dad and I laughed. But, we were so very proud.

And from the time you were a baby, you showed maturity and confidence in front of a microphone, whether it was to give your testimony, sing a solo, or quote a scripture. Even so, you were so afraid you wouldn't do well on your musical aptitude test -- especially since you had a problem hearing the pitches. You didn't believe us when we said you had nothing to worry about. In fact, you got one of only three perfect scores in the district -- immediately qualifying you for the School for the Performing Arts. So, I guess that it is only natural that many people's reactions were like your Dad's: What is the loss of her hearing going to do to her music?

Your brother, Ken, had a different perspective. "My teacher said I can sing so good that she gave me the lead in the second grade musical," he beamed. "But it's the day of Lori's operation," he added apologetically.

I assured him that we would have someone take pictures. And just to make me feel better, he nodded his understanding. "Operations are more important than plays," he reasoned, with all the maturity a disappointed seven-year-old could manage.

But the guilt continued, and we still wanted to know why. Since you had your first operation at fifteen months, until your twentieth operation last year, we have been wondering why. For better or worse, so have other people.

One misguided relative demanded to know what terrible sins we had committed for God to allow you to go through all this suffering. Others indicated that we must be extremely cruel parents -- some for getting too much medical care for you, and others, for not getting enough!

You had so much care that you were uninsurable before you were out of diapers. We borrowed money in the middle of the night to take you to emergency rooms and to buy your medicine. We even put off expanding our family until we were assured your ear problems were under control. Yet, you were worth it!

We spent many hours crying silently in waiting rooms, while doctors performed painful procedures between your screams. We paced for hundreds of hours in strange hospitals all across the country, wondering what else we could have done to spare you this pain. But it wasn't enough. Your allergies and autoimmune problems prevented long term effects. And now, nothing but prayer could help.

I bent over to kiss you as they took you for what was supposed to have been your last operation, a year ago. I whispered that I loved you, feeling that those may be the last words you would ever hear me say.

When we returned to our seats to wait and pray, I glanced at the clock. It was 1:00 -- time for Ken's play to begin. For a moment, I didn't want to be a mother any more. I just wanted to be held. I wanted to be a child again and be cared for by my own parents, who had died long ago.

Then my Heavenly Father wrapped His loving arms around my breaking heart, and said, "You are not alone, for I will never leave you. Know that I am in there also to comfort her and guide the surgeon's hands.

I was brought back to reality by the unexpected appearance of the surgeon. My first reaction was panic; you were supposed to have been in for many more hours.

"I am happy to report that all is well. Despite what the X-rays revealed, things were much better than we expected. We didn't do the radical procedure at all. She not only didn't lose her hearing, she may well hear better than before!"

"I have never scheduled this operation in all my years of medical practice," he added. "But, with Lori, it was so obvious! There was no doubt, it had to be done." He shook his head in disbelief "I just don't understand!"

"We do," we explained in unison. "It is the answer to our prayer!"

I went to the chapel to thank God for our miracle. And, yes, I still thank Him for it. However, several months ago -- when your doctor first hinted that they might have to go ahead with the original surgery -- a friend commented bitterly, "So much for the healing."

How can anyone say you weren't healed? I know we were healed, because our hearts stopped aching so much, and we trusted God to supply answers to questions we couldn't even put into words. How could anyone think that our prayers weren't answered? Had we prayed that God's Will be done, or that you ears be restored? Besides, how many parents would give all they owned for even one day of hearing for their child? And we had been granted one more year!

Although we continue to give thanks for this past year of sound, realistically. we also continued to prepare you for what we perceive to be reality: You will soon be completely deaf.

It began Easter morning with a trace of blood in your ear. Soon you were in the emergency room. By week's end, it had been determined that your skull was infected and a tumor was causing bleeding through your ear canal. This time, there was no doubt. This time, both ears were involved. This time, there would be silence.

The doctor will remove the inside tissue and the diseased part of the skull. The ear canal will be opened up to allow for future treatments. The final procedure -- a skin graft from your arm -- will close you ears forever from your brother's Tarzan yells, your bridegroom's pledge of love and your future children's laughter.

The doctor was very candid: "I want you to understand that what we do will be forever."

I remember when you heard your first clock tick, your first cat purr, your first faucet drip. It was the same year your doctor allowed you to put your head under water for the very first time. You were seven, and thought it was wonderful, all of these marvelous new discoveries! You even said, "My, what a loud yawn," when surgical packing was removed and you heard things you had never before imagined. You grew up so fast, and missed so much.

We have a new swimming pool, and you had so many plans for it, and for your future. We sent plane tickets to your grandmother last week for your eighth grade graduation this month. She doesn't know it yet, but she'll be here for your surgery.

Our signatures on the release form will guarantee that you will never again hear the giggles of your classmates when the teacher discovers a frog in her desk drawer. You will never again reminisce with me, while listening to old recordings of our "Famous Talks." Nor will you hear that special young man someday say, "I love you."

We've thought about this for years, but never really felt it. Perhaps our original anger was directed more toward ourselves for not having enough faith to help ease our suffering. But, the question remains: "Do we have the right to allow this? And, if so, who gave us that right?" We know one thing for sure, though: without the surgery, you will die!

We gave you life once, and now, we are able to do it again. Like the first time, it will not be easy, nor will it be painless. But, it will be worth it! As parents, what a privilege to be able to give life the second time.

Maybe something good has already come from this, for I am beginning to understand how our Father in heaven rejoices when one of His children chooses a second birth -- to live a renewed, whole life through the grace of our Father. To chose life over death seems simplistic, at best. Yet, so few chose to live. So, dare to rise to His expectations, and accept the responsibility that goes along with eternal life and a close walk with the Lord.

The doctor was wrong about one thing, though -- This isn't forever. You will have a new whole body someday, and you will once again be able to hear as your Heavenly Father welcomes you to eternity.

Thank you for allowing us to share this new life God has planned. For -- through the closing of your ears -- we can sense things we never even noticed before. He sends wonderful vibrations that we need neither ears, or eyes to know. That will be the only sound we can continue to share together. It has a name. It is called "Unconditional Love."
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Although Lori's tumor was worse than expected, the graft used to close the opening inside the canal had enough sensitivity to pick up some vibration. Also, because the source of the problem was eliminated, they did not have to operate on the other ear. Although seriously hearing-impaired, she was able to hear well enough to sustain her love of music.

Lori finished high school with dozens of honors for her scholastic and volunteer activities, and was awarded both academic and music scholarships. She graduated from college with a degree in Psychology, and minors in music and religion. She and her husband are the parents of a beautiful daughter, Nichole, to whom Lori writes letters. And, you just have to see them laughing and singing together to be reminded that, "Through Him, all things are possible!"


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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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