Last week I was in the boarding area of the airport excited for my Easter trip home to see my parents and brother. I was preoccupied with plans for the weekend but was brought out of my daydreaming by an elderly woman talking loudly into her cell phone. She kept asking the person to meet her where she was and was repeating the gate number into the phone. With each repeat she got a little louder. I snickered because she was near shouting and thought how silly old people can be. I noticed others around me were snickering, too.
Then I heard her say, “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you. There seems to be something wrong with my hearing aid.” That’s too bad, I thought as I continued in line to board the flight. As I waited for my turn to board, I couldn’t help but notice her tone was becoming increasingly frantic as she tried to understand the person on the other end of the phone.
It was almost my turn to board. I couldn’t stop looking back at the woman in her pressed red suit and matched luggage, so put together but falling apart. It made me think of how lucky I am to have my hearing. The Foundation For a Better Life commercials flashed through my mind and I realized I could do something to help.
I abruptly got out of line and approached the woman. I motioned for her to hand me the phone and shouted, “Let me help you hear. I’ll tell you what the person is saying.” The doubt that flickered across her face was quickly replaced with understanding, then relief.
I took the phone from her, explained who I was, listened for a moment, told the woman her husband was waiting for her in baggage as he could not enter the gate area, and pointed her in the right direction.
It took me less than two minutes to be a communication conduit between a hard-of-hearing woman and her husband, but my pride in having been able to help her remains strong.
Submitted by Anonymous
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