Voice of the Editor

The clash of thunder shook the thin cottage walls as electric flashes of lightening filled the air with visible streaks of energy.

"What was that?" screamed my grandfather, over the loud thunderous storm noise. The lights dimmed, then brightened again, as the walls continued to rattle from the winds coming fast across the lake.

"The kerosene lamp, where is it?" cried my mom, preparing for the darkness that would sure to follow.  The sizzling light filled the sky with energy that was hair raising. In between the thunderous verses which bombed from the sky, the wind flapped at the leaves on the trees, and became a chorus all it's own.

Inside wrapped in the yellow frayed edge soft downy blanket, surrounded by the faces of those I loved, I felt immune to the storm outside.  There was almost a sensation of excitement at the buzz and commotion outside, being unable to reach my inner space.  We had, for a moment, beat Mother Nature.

Sanctuary. Home. Safe. Those are seemingly illusive, yet very real places in life.

I don't know of many people who lack the persistent desire for such a place.  Be it a corner of their home, their joy in work, the comfort of good friends, the loving touch of their mate.

"Say What?' "Huh?" Those familiar words bring back memories of my family screaming over the storms of spring's new birth at our summer cottage.  Efforts made to communicate, in order to secure our safety and comfort for the night, to ride out the storm, safe at home.

Hearing loss changed my definition of sanctuary.  Gone are the days of comfortably chattering with my family.  Out the window; in a flash, went the comfort of job security.  Costly accommodations threaten to take away my place as an equal being on this planet. Storm warnings of the last hurricane flashed across the TV screen, none of which I could hear.  The constant nagging feelings of being 'out of the loop' reinforced those fears of missing something vital to survival. The clash of sounds, flashes of light that come in silence, all mirror that storm of childhood.  When hearing loss was new, I longed for some sense of "home."  Oh, how I long for my frayed-edged yellow blanket. 

Enter: SayWhatClub, that ironic and familiar saying, buzzing across thunderous skies, bringing with it, once again people that love and care to help ride out the storm. SayWhatClub is a bit like that yellow frayed blanket for me, and as it turns out, for many that stumble upon us.

Miles separate us, the electric sizzling along cable wires connect us; our losses are different and the same bonding us into a new family. New found understanding, empathy, familiarity, shared dreams, encouragement, and to hear the laughter of a shared joke (and the punch line) becomes a new sanctuary.
Welcome, to our shelter from the storm.
Care to share my blankie?
Barbara Bavido
Editor: Online Voices


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