Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lend me your ears


By WAN NUR ATIKA HADI HO

Silent reflection enables a student to tune in to the world.

GROWING up is not easy for me. People can see that I live a normal life, but no one knows what is always going on deep in my heart.

As a hearing-impaired person, my world is silent. I keep counting the days to being an adult and try to imagine how my life would be like in the future.

I cannot remember much of what happened when I was small. But I still remember the stories my mum told me about those days.

Mum said that one day, when I was three, I sat in front of the television set watching a show. She was sitting behind and she called out to me.

But I did not look back, the way other children would. I just focused on the TV.

Curious about why I didn’t respond, my parents took me to the clinic nearby.The doctor checked me but did not find anything unusual.

But mum did not feel relief. She was still worried, so she and my father decided to take me to the hospital. There, the doctor diagnosed that I lost my hearing in both ears and needed to wear hearing aids.

Now 18 years later, the hearing aid is my best friend.

I wear a scarf, so people do not know about my problem. I have tried to be independent and stand on my own. But sometimes I fail. Often, I need people to stand by me. To lend me their ears and transfer information to me, slowly, in text form so that I can understand.

I am afraid of being alone. But I’m trying to learn.

I am thankful for my family and eternally grateful for having parents who always understand me. My parents love me so much I could never repay them. Deep inside I always cry because the love my family has shown is so beautiful that I do not want to trade it for anything.

I still remember my UPSR examination.The night before the first paper, I could not sleep because I did not think I would do well. When I woke up, I saw that my parents had written something on my white board hanging on the door.

Mum wrote: “Good luck, Ika.” And my father wrote, “It’s okay if you cannot get A, at least you try your best.”

I will never forget that. I knew that even if I failed my exam, I could still smile because I would have done my best. The effort was much more important than the result itself.

I am now doing my degree in a local university. I’m still trying to adapt to campus life. It’s not easy – English is a major problem.But I believe I can go through this.

My family is there and I am surrounded by amazing people. So, keep silent please. I am trying to listen better to the world.