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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Perspectives: Living With Deaf Parents.
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A girl tries to understand her parents, who are deaf.

I love my mom and my dad with all my heart and soul, but I sometimes feel uncomfortable.

They are great parents, don't get me wrong on this, but it's just that they don't communicate like most people.  My parents are both deaf.  My dad was born that way; mom lost her hearing when she was a baby.  She had a very high fever and it damaged her hearing and her brain somewhat.  Both use ASL (American SIgn Language) to talk with each other (or with other people who are deaf/hard of hearing).

I can hear just fine, thank  you, but it makes me go crazy when people stare at them or start shouting loudly at them, as though that can make them hear.  Let me tell you again: my parents canNOT hear AT all.

My name is Wren Bertrand.  I am 13 years old.  I live in Bogalusa, Louisiana, with not only my parents Chuck and Mira, but my sisters Chelsi and Anna Grace, who are 11 and 5, and my brother, Boo (Chuck, Jr.), who is only two.  We also have two Catahoula hound dogs named "Prince" and "Cleo".  I am Cajun French and am very proud of my Cajun heritage.

I am in the eigth grade at Bogalusa Middle School and am doing very well in most of my classes (Math, on the other hand, is my biggest sticking point).  I have lots of friends, both in the hearing and deaf community.  I learned ASL almost as soon as I could talk: I had to, so I could communicate with my parents (I call them "Maman" and "Daddy"), but I also learned to talk as anyone else did.  I am fluent in English, Cajun French, and American Sign Language.

I sometimes feel sad for Maman and Daddy because they can't hear the Cajun music that I love so much, but even despite that, they can dance well (both claim that they can feel the beat of the music when they dance, so that helps them stay in rhythm).  I also feel sad for them because they can't hear the birds singing, the traffic on the road, people talking, or the sound of rain, but on the other hand, Maman and Daddy don't hear the "uglies" in this world, so maybe, in their case, being deaf is a blessing in disquise.

Maman and Daddy are both always telling me (in sign, of course), "Chere', don't worry your pretty little head about it.  We are just fine; we'll make it in this world".

I guess they tell me that to make me feel better, but it still bothers me that they are missing out on the sounds of this world.

My sisters, brother, and I are all hearing.  We all hear just fine, so I figured I'd say that before people ask us again why we are hearing while are parents are not.  So there.

Like most kids my age, I love talking on the phone, hanging out with my friends, going to the mall, buying clothes, shoes, or other "girlie" things, writing in my journal, writing stories or poems, dancing, and going to concerts.  I also love dancing to Cajun music and going to Mass every Sunday (and Catechism every Saturday; we are Catholic).  

Well, I have to go.  Thel ight is flashing outside my room; that must mean that Maman or Daddy are up.  I will have to run so I can get my teeth brushed, do my hair, take a quick bath, eat breakfast, and then get ready for Mass.  I will write in here again soon; until later,  this is Wren Bertrand saying so long! God bless you always!

~Wren. (My middle name is Joy.)

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Reviewed by Carole Mathys 11/21/2011
Written with compassion and heart, Karen. Well done!
peace, Carole~
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 11/20/2011
Excellent story Karen as always love reading the stories from your gifted pen
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 11/20/2011
Beautiful story, Karen. Sounds like Wren (LOVE that name) understands them perfectly. =] Well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 11/20/2011
It sounds like you have wonderful parents.
Reviewed by Paul Berube 11/20/2011
Well done, Karen.

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