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  • Selina Nichols

Sometimes We Are the Teachers To Our Parents

If you've been following the Deaf Heartbeat journey for a while, you know mine and my sisters' story. (as pictured Selina Nichols, oldest sister/Hearing and DHB CEO-left, Cecilia Hoy, Mom/Hearing-middle, Roxanne Hoy, middle sister/Deaf, DHB Founder -right) We grew up in a home where ASL was not taught or learned until Roxanne started the 9th grade. I didn't learn until I was in my 30s and our Mother is just now learning. Sad but this is very common, even in today's society.

After a recent visit it got me thinking this: Sometimes we have to teach our parents. About technology, about religion, about love and relationships and yes, sometimes even about Sign Language and communication. Roxanne and I had the privilege to teach our Mom to sign. She is taking an interest in learning and truly communicating with her Deaf daughter. I had the honor of interpreting a very sincere and heartfelt apology where my Mom explained how sorry she was for not learning to sign all these years. Tears were shed and bridges are being built. Attempts and actions are being taken. I thank God for providing this opportunity. I am in awe of the fact that 7 years ago I wouldn't have been able to do this had I not taken my own ASL journey.

For the families who are like ours, I just want you to know that it is never too late. Never too late to learn ASL (American Sign Language) for your Deaf family members and friends. Never too late to ask for forgiveness. And never too late just to TRY. I urge you to make that leap! It is oh so worth it.



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