Weddings. They’re a celebration of life, of two people joining together, and bringing together their families into one orbit. For me, it’s a hopeful thing, even though I don’t really care for the whole religious aspect of it. And I am surrounded by family that matter, whom I love and I know I can spend a good time with. At the same time, navigating the course of a wedding is a delicate matter, especially for someone like me.

I went to my cousin’s wedding today.  The church looked beautiful, with it’s rich altar filled with statues, and it’s ceiling painted in the rich Eastern European tradition. The bride wore a simple dress, with some sparkle, and she definitely looked gorgeous, while the groom wore a simple black suit with a red bow-tie. Simple. Low-key, with some 100 + guests.

I have memorized mass by heart, knowing what words to say, when to sing, and when to kneel, after years of attending a church. To my surprise, I even picked up on the organist singing “Hallelujah” on the second refrain, and I sang along–while not wearing my hearing aids.

But for the life of me, I could not hear the vows. I watched the bride and groom repeat the vows after the priest, and all I could think was that I would never be able to repeat after the priest without looking at him to lip-read. l know that I will mishear the words that the priest would say, and I would say the vows wrong. And I wondered how I would solve that problem should I ever get married.

The party afterwards was filled with loud, blasting music.  I had my hearing aids in at that point because I wanted to be able to have a conversation with people, even though, I have discovered that no one can hear over the music at these parties, ever. My other cousin and I danced, laughed, talked, and ate. I enjoyed feeling the beat from the music pulse from the floor through my body, and I had a good time; however, I left the party with a throbbing headache from all the noise and sore feet.

I may not be getting married tomorrow or in a year, but I am constantly aware of how my hearing loss limits my ability to do certain things like the rest of the people in my circle or be a part of something. This is just one of those situations where I have to figure out a solution on the fly and make decisions based on knowing myself and my thresholds for pain and sensitivity.


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