Tag Archive: CODA


fatherFather’s day has come and gone but the lesson learned remains. I raised by a single deaf mom and hearing grandmother who invested in me to become what they knew I could be.  Through out the years of they were my sole support and I never wanted for anything. I had a father who was deaf and had moved on with a new wife and four daughters of their own and my brother and I remained with my mother. Although, there was a reoccurring event called a “birthday” where my father would show up to greet my twin brother and I with birthday wishes and a birthday card sent from my paternal grandmother. For years that was my only contact with him until one day I told him that he no longer needed to grace me with his presence because I had all I needed which did not include him. From that point on I did not hear nor see him and that was fine with me.

Until the year of 2005 when my mother passed away and he contacted me about my mother’s passing and wanted to attend the funeral. My mother never harbored ill feelings for him so I wanted to respect the big-hearted and forgiving person she was and invited him. After the funeral my dad asked me if I could have a place for him in my heart and in my life (by the way this was not the first time he asked) and my response as usual was I don’t know. I always say that I did not hold an ill feelings towards him but I did. After that day things went on as they usually did and we did not communicate.

Then in the year of 2009 my twin brother passed away and my father and I connected again. I am not sure how we did but he was there with me every step of the way. I saw a different person. After, my brother’s funeral he asked me the same question again and this time my answer was different I simply stated ” I will try” to make a place for him for who he was now but reminded him that it would take some time and effort. Eventually, I found myself lowering my guards and letting go of the ill feelings, seeing him for the person he had become and letting him into parts of my life.

Here we are in 2014 and I am calling him to say happy father’s day because he deserves it. He has been very patient and accepting of who I am and where I am. We talk more frequently, we attend church together occasionally and he even attended my daughter’s basketball game last week. Even though it has been years, I am appreciative to be at this point and to actually have a father I want to call and honor on this day. Thank you to my father for seeking change, being committed and showing it is never too late to be a father. Happy Father’s Day!

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As I sit here thinking about the new year and lesson planning:) I ponder on the reason why I teach the subject that I do or why I teach at all. I teach my subject because it stems from who I am.. a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults). My mother and brother was deaf, I have one brother still living who is deaf also. My mom had a personality larger than life with blue eyes and Carmel skin and a heart filled with faith. Her motto in life and for her family is in all things keep the faith. She passed away five years ago but each day feels like it has not been that long ago. I think of her to remind me why I do what I do..teach ASL. I could teach anything but ASL is my passion it is the electricity that ignites my core.

I remember our experiences growing up in a Deaf family some good and some bad but I use those experiences to make a difference with the students I work with. My mother never let anything interfere with her life plan, each of my brothers (both have blue eyes too) and stood against discrimnation..against audism to become the people who they became. My twin brother sadly passed away three years ago and he reminds me to “try life” to live and love and not regret. I share that passion with my students as well. I love them whole-heartedly as their teacher, mentor and the person who may be able to make a difference in their lives so they can make a difference in someone elses.

All in all, I strive to remind myself of my purpose as a teacher and the subject I teach. My purpose is to show the importance of American Sign Language to the Deaf community and the hearing community and to bring life to the lessons I teach. As well to make sure I empower and educate others to reach out and connect with populations other than their own despite their abilities and in abilities. Most of all, to keep the lessons of my family in my spirit to keep me passionate about who I am, will become and what I do.