“First my world went silent, then my sleeping dreams and now my memories–no sound. Nada.”
I wrote the poem below for my two children, Amanda (17) and Sarah (13) in late June of 2010. My hearing loss had just worsened profoundly and permanently. I could no longer discern the sound of either daughter’s voice, and I wanted to offer reassurance.
Now, well over a year later, my memory of sound is also slipping. It’s weird. Lyrics to familiar songs remain firmly memorialized in my brain. I can recite the words. But I can’t hum the tune. I forget the melody. In the same way, I know the girls’ voices—none are more familiar. I just can’t recall their sweet, angelic sound.
This is a new phenomenon. See, it’s been a gradual process. First, my world went silent. Then, my sleeping dreams. And now, my memories. While my recall of those myriad blessed Kodak moments has never been more vivid. I remember the events, words, and emotions precisely—no sound. Nada.
Present and Past
When Amanda was a toddler, she had the cutest nasal chirrup caused by inflamed tonsils and adenoids. Her voice was high-pitched, kind of squeaky, until she had her tonsils out. It was adorable. I can see her saying precious 4-year-old stuff in my mind’s eye like it was yesterday. But, for the life of me, I can’t remember the sound. (Of course, Amanda is going to kill me for this little revelation, especially if her high school friends read this!)
Parents understand. We know each and every facet of our beautiful children: their body warmth in our embrace, the pulse of their heartbeat, their exuberant laughter, their peaceful sleep—and, yes, the nuances of every sound and gesture present and past. Me too, oh, yes—I know the sounds—I just can’t hear them anymore. Present and past.
But Dad is AOK. The joy of fatherhood can never be silenced. The spirit of this poem is timeless, and its truth is crystal-clear. The orchestra of joy plays on. Do you hear it? Listen heart… listen. Do you hear the voice of Angels? I do. That’s my girls!
By Brian Patrick Jensen
I want you to now know about the voices that I keep
That I hear your words precisely in the peaceful dreams I sleep
I want you to understand how it resonates in me
And I how I treasure every mention of your sound so beautifully
I want you to remember I miss nothing that you state
And that the music of your laughter resides within me loud and great
I listen every moment to your voice so clear and true
I hear greatness in your actions by the kindly good you do
I want to share my insight about the wonder of your sound
How I hold so firm and crystal clear the words you state profound
I hear your shouts of joy and love above all worldly noise
I hear your heart within me beat an orchestra of joys
I want to say to you right now with audible attention
That I cling with grateful wonder to your every word and mention
I am expert in your voice’s tone that echoes through my spirit
Listen heart… listen now to your angel-voice, I Hear It!
I want above all things to let you know my joy in hearing
That it is the heart, not ears, that know there is no silence fearing
And my triumphant heart now beats so loud and clear today
Because it hears without a doubt or pause every word you say.
Brian Patrick Jensen is a father, teacher, trainer, award-winning business leader, and motivational speaker. He also happens to be deaf. Hear him and be inspired!