The Pie Baker

Fresh from the Oven

Sounds of Silence

My father is 80 years old and very hard of hearing. I mean, REALLY hard of hearing. For years, he had a bad right ear, but over the past decade or so, his hearing has dramatically declined. I am forced to repeat myself at least twice, sometimes more, and I find myself getting frustrated. The television at his house is turned up so loud, it is actually painful to me. The little volume indicator bar across the bottom of the screen is all the way to the right…it cannot go any higher. And then he complains that he can’t understand what they say on the TV. Because they talk too fast!

I feel sorry for him. I really do. What he doesn’t realize is that his granddaughter (adorable angel that she is) is saying so many cute, clever and precious things …and he is missing them. This weekend when we visited, the Pie walked in the front door of the house and yelled, “Gaw Paaww!” He didn’t hear it because the television was turned up so loud. There were at least 3 other incidents when she walked behind him, saying, “Gaw Paw, peese” (translation: “Grandpa, please?”). He never turned to look at her; I imagine he again could not hear her. Two other times, she stood in front of him, making her heart-breaking little kissy face and the accompanying noise, and he ignored her.

I saw in her face a tinge of sadness, some frustration and even a little anger that he was not paying her the attention she felt she deserved. I don’t blame her. He claims he loves her (and I have no doubt that he does) but to her, he’s just some old fart she sees once a week. When we are at home, she will pick up her grandfather’s framed picture, hug and kiss it, and murmur softly, “Gaw Paw.” She loves him and she knows he is her grandpa, but I can see in her eyes the confusion of whether HE knows it or not.

I have tried to encourage the acquisition of hearing aids for Dad, but he is reluctant. I can only speculate why. I don’t have the heart to tell him that he is missing so much while he sits there in silence and his grandaughter grows up.


April 7, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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