I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.
Growing up, I was always Daddy’s little girl. And my dad was always there for me, every step of the way. He believed in a good education, being your best and having solid work ethic. I found myself striving to get better grades, work harder and become better to make him proud. During the summers, he taught me how to plant vegetables, and as we weeded side by side, he would listen to me chattering about my life. He never missed a single sporting event, and sat in the front row at my theater performances. He has been a rock for my mom and me. I can’t imagine having a better father.
After college, I married my college sweetheart and I moved across the country for a job. We have three children and two dogs. Life is good. I video chat my parents at least 3 times a week. They like to keep up with the kids and see how life is treating us.
A few years ago, I noticed that Dad wasn’t hearing us very well on our calls. Especially with the kids, he had a hard time hearing what they were saying. He complained they were speaking too quickly. Last Thanksgiving, I made a trip home and he couldn’t even participate in the conversation when we went out to a restaurant. He claimed it was too noisy and made the wait staff turn down the music. Then, earlier this year, he stopped participating on our video chats at all. He said he was busy, or he just wouldn’t answer.
Like a lot of people, my dad didn’t want to admit that he had trouble hearing. It made him feel old. Fortunately my mom convinced him to go for a hearing test. When the audiologist let him hear the difference between how little he was hearing unaided, and how much he could hear with a hearing aid, he was finally convinced. And it helped him to see all the different styles available for hearing aids these days.
After he got his hearing aids, his audiologist recommended auditory therapy. She explained that my dad’s brain had stopped recognizing a lot of sounds that he hadn’t heard for a long time. Now that he can hear them again, it helped him a lot to get the therapy to help retrain his brain to understand them. And now that there was so much that he could hear all of a sudden, the training helped him distinguish words from background noise. It was a big help. And it was fully covered by Medicare.
My dad has rejoined our conversations. Noisy restaurants don’t get him angry anymore. My dad is back and that’s a good thing, because I’m never too old to be Daddy’s little girl.
Love you Daddy!