She now hears what she calls “pretty” things: church bells ringing, solo piano pieces, certain voices that have a clear and resonant quality. Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music, for example, which has always been one of her favorite things. (Woof! Sorry.)
She hears the dogs’ under-cut toenails as they scuttle across the hard wood (vinyl) floors. She had no idea they made so much noise. This is also kind of annoying, she thinks, and I have to agree, but it’s neat that we can share this annoyance now.
Garbage trucks and other street cleaners, airplanes and buses: she heard them before, sometimes, but now she hears them down the street, around corners. She has to ask what some of the sounds are, but I don’t mind.
Last night she heard the waitress, standing behind her, ask a question. She answered without turning around. She doubted what she heard, out of habit, but she was pleased that she was correct.
And more and more she hears me: the timbre of my voice (tenor-pitched, a nasal tone). When it’s quiet in the house she sometimes answers questions that I don’t look at her to ask. And it’s almost like living with a different person when that happens.
But it isn’t a different person, and I have to remember that no matter how good she gets at this, I can’t get lazy about communicating with her. And it’s still the beginning.