Author: Bowen Tang
As the holiday season is over, it can be hard to find ourselves back to the grind at school or at work. This is even more difficult for hard of hearing (HOH) people since we once again face our biggest foe: noise. Wherever we go and whatever we do, noise will always be around. Despite our best attempts to adapt we will no doubt sometimes experience frustration when communicating with people. There will be ups and downs in our days and like anyone we want to share these with our close ones, particularly those who can relate to our unique experiences as hard of hearing individuals. Through my work as an educator and an advocate, I always emphasize the importance of connection between hard of hearing individuals, the impact it has on personal empowerment and being part of the HOH community. Some of us may feel like there is no need to have a HOH friend because the friends we have are enough. That is perfectly fine but I would like to share a personal perspective on how my HOH friends have become my guardian angels.
I have been privileged to meet many wonderful friends along my life journey and I wish they could all be acknowledged individually here. Among this spectacular group Joy, Tasha and Nicole (left to right) in particular are my rock. As a fellow colleague and partner in crime, Joy keeps me driven and motivated to pursue my passion. Tasha’s generosity and kindness remind me to appreciate what I have and inspire me to be a better person. Nicole taught me to accept who I am and be true to myself. Together they lifted me up from my self doubts and gave me the strength I needed to be who I am. One day we named our group chat “HOHliest Angels”. How fitting it is because they are indeed guardian angels. It is our shared experiences as hard of hearing individuals that we feel strongly connected and it was through the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association that we came together.
For the past several years I have witnessed sparks being made when HOH individuals connect. My HOH friends and I really have become a second family to each other. It is my sincere wish that each hard of hearing person can find fellow kindred people who they can rely on in their journey through life. Hence I feel that it is important for families to pursue opportunities for their deaf/hard of hearing children to connect and make friends who may eventually become their very own guardian angels.