At a workshop with ASL interpreters present for several folks a woman decided I was totally deaf and wanted to talk with me. In the ladies room, on break, she bravely strode up while I was washing my hands, tapped me on the shoulder, and as I looked up into the mirror she signed: My You Ear Love – or possibly, My You Hearing Love.
I blinked as I tried to sort out what she was saying to me in the mirror and voiced, “You love my ear?”
She shook her head and replied orally, “No, no.” She shook her head and then folded her arms over her chest You’re my hero.”
Without going into the rest of the conversation, I’d like to give her props for trying her best to come up with meaningful, self-created signs, for what she wanted to express.
I ended up thanking her for her compliment and teaching her “Thank you” and “Welcome.” I pondered if I should tell her than in the quiet of the ladies’ room I could hear her well enough using my hearing aid and lip reading. Then I let it go. She wanted to reach out to me in what she perceives of as MY language. She tried her best and we communicated. I appreciated her willingness to give it her all. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all tried that hard to communicate with others? Maybe she’s the hero, even if her hero looks like Love.
asl sign song video by Dan J. Castle; asl song; peformed at Dan Castle show 4/7/07 at Riverside Comm. Center for Spiritual Living;