Life never sounded so good

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love music.

I had a purple cassette-playing radio – one of those little ones that fit just right beside a pillow at night.

Doo-wop reigned in our house. My mom had cassettes with the music by The Platters, The Marvelettes and on and on. I loved to write the lyrics of my favorites so I could sing along in the car.

“Dedicated to the One I Love” by Bitty McQueen was the first song I can remember learning the lyrics from start to finish and the song I used as a lullaby for my oldest child.

When the doctor gave me the news of my middle girl’s severe hearing impairment, I can remember thinking, “How do you sing a child to sleep who can’t hear?”

I was devastated. Looking back, it’s silly how I fixated on something so trivial when there were larger issues at hand.

My girl left the hospital fitted with a hearing amplification device attached to an elastic band. I made cute fabric covers so that people thought it was a headband. And she learned to hear in her own way, just like she learned to speak in her own way. But, Thursday, when I heard her sing, my heart overflowed.

We’d been in the car since 5 a.m. headed to the audiologist in Birmingham. For more than a year, we battled with the insurance company to get her a new BAHA, a specialized hearing device worn on a surgically implanted plate on her skull. It pops on and off like the snap button of a western shirt.

You know how when you stick a headphone to your skull you can still hear the music? That’s how her hearing device works. Made by Cochlear, the nickel-sized device gives her an ability that can’t be measured.

Thanks to Bluetooth technology and the genius people at Apple, telephone conversations and music are streamed directly to hearing aid. A wireless microphone device allows her stream sound from any electronic device with an audio jack.

As we loaded up into the car, she wasted no time in trying it out, and as my girl belted out Demi Levato’s “Confident,” I just smiled and thought, “I just bet you are.”