My very good hearted and extremely intelligent husband, Marc, is deaf. He was born hearing but gradually 'lost his ears' and by the time he was fifteen years old, the world was all but silent for him. At a time he should have been enjoying friendships and dating, he was ignored, shunned or bullied by most people because, in his small town, he was really different. People didn't even try to talk with him and often assumed he was mentally challenged because of the way he sounded. For ten years he lived in a kind of isolation that would completely shrivel the souls of most folks. He stayed busy with school and work and hung on until the age of twenty five when he got the opportunity to go to college. He met and lived among deaf people there. However, since he wasn't born deaf, he wasn't accepted by most of those people either. In spite of not being respectfully included in either the hearing or the deaf world, he remained a kind, funny and optimistic person. He worked hard and overcame many obstacles to become only the third deaf person in the long history of that prestigious college to receive a degree in engineering. With his new degree proudly under his arm, he looked for work. After two years of losing out on engineering jobs over and over because of his deafness and being broke, he found work in construction. He mastered every building trade except plumbing. Eventually he started his own service and repair business where he used these trades to help others. He was especially popular with elderly people, single moms and others who are often taken advantage of by contractors because his fees were so reasonable, he was so honest and his work standards are so high. And, as a way of developing social relationships, he added another accomplishment - becoming such a wonderful ballroom dancer that he was asked to dance in exhibitions around the country. Eventually, through dance, we met and married and he started a real estate inspection business where he could use his education and skills to do even more good. He has earned the respect and gratitude of his clients and the admiration of all those who get to know him. Everyday is still uphill for him though as he continues to encounter the public's negative attitudes about his deafness, still has to fight to be able to do the work he does, and still can't get as much business as hearing people do. Yet he remains optimistic, constantly expanding his knowledge and skills and thinking up new ways he can be effective. He doesn't give up, doesn't ask anyone to carry his load, and doesn't let it make him hateful. He keeps on going, with faith that, somehow, someway, it's going to work out... He's amazing!
Submitted by Anonymous
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