When a stunner walks into the room your first thought might be to rush over to greet her / him and embrace them! When the South Africans held a referendum way back in the nineties, what could they do but embrace black majority rule! After months or years drooling over the Jaguar XR and your dream becomes reality, what can you do but embrace the crippling HP payments. As my family grew, I would arrive home, often reeking of workshop, but would open the front door and demand my welcoming embrace, standing there tapping my foot until I had gotten my embrace and kiss from the whole crew! My ankle often got sore, tapping and waiting!

Obviously we embrace when it suits us, or when we feel the need! Here we have to hamba kahle as we often miss the need. We feel that wearing any obvious aid that makes us appear over the hill, past it or getting on in life is an assault on our femininity / masculinity! We should become FOMOs, “Fear of missing outers”, and embrace any aid that keeps us in touch, informed, and in contact with the people and society around us.

At age 45 it hits most of us! Our arms become too short! We start buying readers in order to see the components we are working on, computer screens and books we are reading, not to mention our cell phone screens. I know a certain lady who has amassed an Imelda Marcos like collection of readers which are left at strategic places, for use when needed. Not wanting to appear aged, this certain lady refused to wear those neck chains to keep her readers handy and ready for action! After spending years often looking for her readers and eventually prescription reading glasses, madam decided to embrace the neck chain idea and is now amassing an Imelda Marcos collection of those!

Pardon, I didn’t hear that or Say that again are phrases that the hard of hearing have repeated over and over again. Where lip reading doesn’t work anymore and the venue is just too noisy, the hard of hearing individual often retreats into her or his own world. In my case I can remember, on many occasions, making every attempt to hear what was being said, looking intently at the speaker, nodding my head when I should have shaken my head, and often making a completely off the subject reply!

Over the years I adapted and often made my own party to hide my inability to discriminate speech, Well that’s my story anyway! My family suggest it was just a ruse to descend into the hooligan element, which comes naturally! Six years ago I was honoured with an invitation to visit the Starkey Hearing headquarters in Minneapolis, and even more honoured to have had Bill Austin personally fit a Trans Cranial Cross Fit, using a high powered receiver in my deaf right ear, coupled with a top of the range hearing aid for each ear. (I have been completely deaf in my right ear since goodness knows when!)

Can you imagine how I embraced those hearing aids? I could hear sounds that I couldn’t remember having heard before! That could be from a poor memory, you might say, but it was exciting to hear the rasping sound if I shuffled my feet over the floor. Driving with the driver’s window open and hearing wind noise via the right side hearing aid which transmitted the, slightly delayed, sound to the hearing aid in my left ear. Even visiting the urinal had a new sound dimension to it!

My better half Linda fits hearing aids for her day job, and all of the manufacturers have vanity conscious patients in mind, providing various shades to colour match any likely hair colour! With these BTE fittings it is amazing how difficult it is to notice the hearing aid tucked away behind the ear! In all honesty many of the fairer sex, no not you fellas, insist on the hearing aid matching the do colour! When it comes to glasses, they are in and on your face so what can you do, but embrace!

After a major operation one of my clients was given one of those walkers to assist in getting around. Mr Ramage embraced his walker, which had wheels, a brake and he would brag, a container in which he could put his 6 pack of beers when he went to church!

Sorry if it seems that I am stuck on a subject that we covered in my first blog, Poetic Licence, but as we are living the subject why not get it down on paper! Oupa is now at home recuperating after striking it lucky when the Paramedic, who couldn’t find a blood filled vein to insert the needle into for the drip, had diverted to another hospital and not the hospital of our choice!

The Physician assigned to Oupa turned out to have a Dr House like bedside manner, but she seems blessed with the same genius like skills! In just over a week they sent Oupa home, and if you had read correctly between the lines of Were There No Heaven, some of the staff were glad to see the back of him!

The extremely helpful and lovely couple, who lived in the house next door to Oupa, had sold to another couple, with the buyers moving in whilst Oupa was in hospital for that critical week. Sadly for these buyers Eskom, the irregular supplier of electricity in South Africa, chose this area to invoke a blackout last Friday and everybody in the area including Randburg’s Waterfront, were without power for many days. The Humalog which is critical for the treatment and control of Oupa’s diabetes has to be kept in a fridge at constant temperature.

Enter a very noisy generator loaned from good friend and excellent electrician Mark Couzyn. Up and running we ensured the petrol didn’t run out and felt that 10:00pm was a good time to switch the generator off until the next day 7:00am. Moving into new digs it is always a good idea to get to know the new neighbours, and dare I say it again embrace them! In the melee of caring for Oupa’s house, whilst he was critically ill, I had driven past the new neighbours as they moved in. I had made friendly waves and shouted out greetings which were seemingly ignored, or there was a hard of hearing problem there too!

The new lady from next door walked through the, unable to be locked sliding gate to Oupa’s house, a couple of nights into the blackout, banged on the front door and demanded of the gifted caregiver Teresa Sikakane, in no uncertain terms, that the generator be switched off. Teresa remained calm and told the apparition that she would switch off the generator later! The apparition stormed off, and Oupa who was never one to tolerate fools gladly, and had felt he should retire early decided that the generator would remain on until he was too tired to keep his eyes open! My suggested time, to give the fridges enough time to cool down was 10:00pm, Oupa’s eyes were seriously heavy by 9:00pm so he, begrudgingly, switched the generator off. Can you picture those blazing eyes, desperate to stay open?

Teresa, extremely indignant went on to say, the next day, “How dare she behave like that? I have my patient to care for and the fridges must work”! Teresa has embraced her job and is our candidate for president.

Possibly what madam from next door should have done was to embrace the constant hum of the generator as that of the jet airliner that took her on her last holiday to The Lost Steppes of Siberia!

Change what you can, embrace what you can’t change!


Your Vanity

Your beauty is hidden behind your vanity

Your goodness often lost on humanity

Underneath all  those pearls and flashy bling

A richer life, deeper thoughts, a you, truly amazing

If you’d only heard what she had to say

You could have been well on your way

Instead of giving the words a cursory glance

Understanding more, not taking a chance

 So embrace those things, a richer life you would give

Wear them with pride, so exciting to live

In a world full of wonder and beautiful prose

Connected by more than your beautiful clothes

St Vincent School For The Deaf