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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am

Sunrise over Logan
I know I’ve already whinged on about these ultra fast wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am visits to see my father. A lot, in fact. They wear me right the fuck out – it’s not just the six hours of travel each way, it’s the intense amount of lipreading, my valient attempts to keep up conversationally.

Jen, who brilliantly handles all the ‘terp action for me, wasn’t able to make this trip. End of the world? Fuck no, though Daddy really missed her outstanding company. Of course!

Helen’s a fab fingerspeller and knows some ASL. The girls fingerspell and are learning some signs too. Friend Michal and Helen’s husband John both have lovely handwriting and are quick to write down what I can’t lipread. So then, I was def not lost in the Talk Sea.
Helen and Daddy

Best of all, they all understand that they need to speak a little slower, enunciate but not exaggeratedly so, give me context – don’t just launch into a new topic, give preface, be mindful of light sources, etc., etc. 

All too soon, heading cack to the Pittsburgh airport
At the end of the day, Daddy and I had an hour alone together – just us. By this point, after our big birthday luncheon party out (Pop's 80th!) my lipreading foo was, pretty much, threadbare. A bit of panic set in. That is, I wanted Pop and I to have a tremendous visit – have one of our old, rousing, everything-AND-the-damn-kitchen-sink, Dada-ish convos – we both really enjoy those (mega understatement alert!). With these rapid action, brief stays, I want every moment to be grand fun (for his sake AND mine). I thought that, without having someone there to fill in when my lipreading drops out, our time wouldn’t be as much of a laugh riot, jest fest.

Bing, bong – I was wrong! You see, though the old man’s hands are kind of crabbed up now, he still remembers a lot of sign. He and my mother learned ASL together when she was losing her hearing and he’s still got it. Awesome! Communication was slower than usual but then, after the party, we were both running in lower gears anyway.

All in all, this was a fab scene BUT I still want to find a way to extend the trip, even by just one extra night. I think I'm greedy for time with the old man. Can't get enough.
Suffragette City – Bowie

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