I’m in the car on a long drive home from a day spent in Monterey. My sister is driving, singing along to the radio. Of course, I can’t hear any of it. But she looks so happy. My family doesn’t have the most talented singers, but we all love singing anyway. Even as a deaf person, singing brings me joy. So it hurts to realize I’m slowly forgetting how many of my favorite songs go. I can’t help but feel regret. The moment I learned I was becoming deaf, I should have worked to etch every single musical note into my mind. But the past is past.

It’s bittersweet nostalgia, pondering my favorite sounds and what they mean to me. Many of these sounds I took for granted, things I didn’t realize I had found beauty in. Threading along that line of thought, I have begun to appreciate my sight so much more. The magnificence of nature, communication using sight as a tool, the things usually unnoticed, the mind-boggling concept of everything seen being a reflection/manipulation of light.

I share my list of favorite sounds to encourage you to think about your own favorite “sensory triggers.” Close your eyes and think: If I could no longer hear, see, feel, smell, or taste, what would I miss most? Why? Then, maybe you can appreciate them even more than you did before, and life could be that much more beautiful.

My sound list:
-The patter of rain on rooftops.
-Coffee brewing and bacon spitting, birds chirping — sounds of a good start to the day.
-Children playing and laughing.
-Adagio for Strings Op. 11 and Princess Leia’s theme… and a lot, lot more music.
-My family’s familiar voices from the next room, the sound of home.
-The rustling of paper and scratching of pens.
-The voice of Bob Ross in The Joy of Painting.
-The chatter of people greeting each other at church.
-The bubbles and filters in huge aquarium tanks.
-Cats meowing.
-Star Wars sound effects.
-The snipping of scissors and buzzing of razors during haircuts.
-Thunder, especially when it rumbles.
-Kristina’s voice, of course.

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