OPINION COLUMNS

Let me check your notes!

By Gerre Joiner | Published Saturday, September 12, 2015
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The makings of this little story didn’t originate at the coffee shop. They came from a meeting at the church.

I left the house with a stack of stuff bound together with little binder clip things. It wasn’t a small stack. I was proud that I had done inventory and was prepared for the meeting.

I arrived at the church, unlocked the door to the administration building so everyone could get in and then I sat by myself … marveling at how quiet and peaceful things were.

People started arriving. We visited back and forth until the meeting started promptly at 6:30 p.m. I was seated toward the end of the conference table. About 15 minutes into the meeting, and after about a half-dozen requests (from me) for someone to repeat something, I connected the dots. I had forgotten my hearing aids.

I mentioned it to the group. No wonder I had such a great “quiet time” before folks started arriving!

Candy Burden, our children’s minister, asked, “Do you want to go home and get them? We’ll wait.”

“No. I’ll be fine,” I said.

She laughed when she then said, “I want to check your notes before you leave … just to make sure you heard everything correctly.”

It reminded me of the events leading up to my mother buying her first set of hearing aids. (I may have written about this before. Not sure.)

Back in the mid-80s, our whole family had been telling Mother she needed to see about her hearing. It wasn’t good. She didn’t think it was too bad. She went to Lubbock with plans to spend the day with family friend Viola Chastain, who was in the hospital.

Friends came to visit with Viola and Mother. As the day wore on, Mother grew weary of saying to friends, “I’m sorry. I didn’t hear your question,” or asking someone to repeat what they’d just said.

Mother was very frustrated by midday. She thought to herself, “I am not going to say, ‘huh’ any more today. If I don’t understand the question, I’ll just answer … something.”

Then Walter Brown came in for a visit. He had been there for a while when he asked Mother, “Nell, have you had lunch?”

She paused, thought a moment, and decided to answer a question she’d not heard.

“Walter, I don’t remember,” she said.

Everyone laughed and told her what she’d done.

She went home and made an appointment with an audiologist.

Gerre Joiner is a semi-retired church musician and has lived in Decatur since 1999.

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