My son is getting married on Saturday.
This is one of those monumental life events, not only for the bride and groom, but for me – my only shot at being the mother of, in this case, the groom.
And at this wedding, I want to hear my boy Joel and his girl Jacqui say their vows. It will be the first wedding, since my hearing loss became profound and since tinnitus and hyperacusis became part of my daily soundscape, where I will be able to hear every word of the ceremony.
Modern technology makes this possible, in a way that was never available to me. The officiant will wear my ReSound remote mini mic on his lapel, which will pick up the voices and send them directly into my hearing aid and cochlear implant. At the reception, the mini mic will be passed from speaker to speaker and theoretically I won’t miss a thing.
I forget to charge my mini mic. (But I’m charging it now.)
One or both of my personal devices decide to go wonky. (They won’t.)
The wedding is on a beach and if wind passes over the mic, a storm will play in my ears. (Nothing’s perfect.)
The speakers forget to pass along the mic and I will have to remind the MC – again – to pass it over. (Nobody’s perfect.)
At the weddings of my three stepchildren, I had to take it on faith that they said their vows to the satisfaction of the wedding celebrant. And at my own wedding, I didn’t catch the Hearing Husband’s vows – not because I couldn’t hear him, but because he didn’t say them. He blanked and his voice kind of trailed off as he looked out the window. But our minister took pity on him and pronounced, with gusto, that we were married!
I have other tactics to put into play this Saturday. My son and the wedding coordinators know to seat me where I can see the lips. I’ll be running a speech-to-text app on my smartphone, which helps to pick up missed phrases. I could also get advance copies of all vows and speeches, but that would wipe out the element of surprise and joy of hearing them said for the first time.
I also have interpreters, such as the Hearing Husband, who are trained to respond immediately to my rapid tapping on their arm, along with “what did she say?”, also repeated rapidly .
It’s going to be a beautiful wedding and I’m going to hear every word of it.