Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesdays with Wanda

Of all of my “Wednesdays with Wanda” posts, I can bet that this one would have been Mom’s favorite so far. 

Because it’s about my 10 year old son, Jonathan.

(She would much rather talk about her grandchildren than herself!)

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Jonathan held a tender spot in my mom’s heart.

He was my first child, her 4th grandchild. 

Jonathan was born with a hearing loss.  He has only 50% of his hearing in both of his ears, and has worn hearing aids since he was 3 years old.

She helped my husband and I purchase his first set of hearing aids.  (They are pretty pricey and not covered by insurance.)

Mom paid for Jonathan to go to weekly speech lessons for a year when he was 4 years old.

Throughout his 10 years of life, she was constantly assisting us in caring for Jonathan and his sweet ears.

Mom wanted Jonathan to get a new pair of hearing aids this year.  The ones he has now are several years old, and there are newer models out there that are of better quality.  And if there was something better out there for Jonathan, then Mom wanted it!

This past summer, Mom was saving money to get Jonathan some new hearing aids.  She had almost half of the money saved when we found out she had cancer.  It broke her heart that she had to stop working.  Not because she had cancer, but because she knew she wouldn’t be able to buy Jonathan his hearing aids.

Mom knew she would need that money for medical bills.

Though I knew she was upset about this, I knew that Mom had given Jonathan something more priceless than hearing aids.  She gave him her amazing love, her words of encouragement, her faith in Christ, and a wealth of precious memories!

When Mom was sick, she didn’t talk much about dying.  But one thing she did say was that she wanted Jonathan to sing “Amazing Grace” at her funeral. 

He had sang it as his school talent show five months earlier.  Mom was there to see him sing it.  She was so proud.  I have often thought that as we sat there and listened to him sing, we would have never dreamed that in a few short months, he would be singing it again at her funeral.

(Here are my boys the day of Mom’s funeral.  Jonathan is my oldest.)

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Jonathan sang at mom’s funeral.  He sang with all his heart.  I KNOW that Mom heard his sweet voice all the way to the heaven.

Of course I didn’t video tape him singing at the funeral, but a few weeks later, he sang it again at our church.

I video taped it and wanted to share it with all of you.  (Its a little shaky at the beginning because the usher got in my way.)  :)

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
------Chris Tomlin
Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
Chorus:
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace


The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures
Chorus(x2)
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine

 

Mom’s chains are gone, and she has been set free!  Thank you, Lord, for the gift of heaven.

I praise God for giving my son the gift of singing.  It’s hard to believe that when he was born, I was afraid he wouldn’t even be able to talk!  I pray that he will always use his voice for God’s glory.

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

53 comments:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Traci. Your son has a great voice. I'm no professional but I did win state for vocal soloist when I was in High School-great job.

    Cheri

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  2. Beautiful....sniff,sniff. God has blessed him with an amazing voice, your mother would be so proud. Praying for you and your family this holiday season.

    Loves and Blessings
    Norma

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  3. Wow!! That was beautiful, thank you for sharing. Your son has an amazing gift for singing.

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  4. I'm in tears. Thank you for sharing this amazing story. You are blessed with a beautiful, talented, loving family.

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  5. What a beautiful Thanksgiving post. All of your boys are just gorgeous Traci! God Bless Jonathan - what an awesome tribute to his grandmother. That is something I'm sure he will always remember.

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  6. Traci,
    This is so heartwarming and yes, I know your mom can hear this precious child's voice. Miracles occur daily, thanks be to God, and you truly have one in your son. He has a wonderful voice! I hope that you and your loved ones have a blessed Thanksgiving and that you can treasure the beautiful memories you have of your mother.

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  7. Your Wednesday posts always make me cry. We just found out a dear friend has cancer as well, so today's post is make me cry a little extra. Thank you for sharing these wonderful stories of your mother and your family Traci!

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  8. Gorgeous, just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your blessings with us today!

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  9. What a beautiful, beautiful voice that son of yours has. Yes...we've been set free! What an amazing testament of what God does through His children!! What a miracle your son is too! Thank you for sharing this with us!! You're mom must have been so blessed everytime she heard that voice!
    Blessings to you! Saying a prayer for you and your family during these holidays....I know they can be hard.
    Kelly

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  10. Oh Traci, this is so precious and your son is so talented. What a blessing. I know for sure that your mom hears him every time he sings. I hope you and your family have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving filled with all of God's Grace and Goodness. Hugs, Marty

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  11. Traci~

    I was mesmerized and near tears as I read your post and watched the video of Jonathan. He is a true talent and a miracle, in spite of his hearing loss. Not many know that my hearing is almost gone. I have worn hearing aids for half my life and I lip read. I pray Jonathan gets his new hearing aids, as they will make a world of difference. In the meantime, i hope he goes on to use this wonderful gift to make people happy.

    Bless you and your family this holiday and you will always be in my prayers.

    xoxo
    Jane

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  12. How beautiful Traci! Thank you for sharing his gift with us as well.

    Many Blessings, ~Melissa :)

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  13. Wonderful post! Your son did a great job with that song! It is one of my favorites! What a tribute to your mom!

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  14. Simply Beautiful! Brought tears to my eyes, your precious son has a beautiful voice. I am sure your mother is looking down and blessing your whole family. What a great post!

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  15. Wow. Your Wednesdays With Wanda posts always touch my heart, but this one leaves me kind of speechless. That was beautiful. Thank you for all you share with us.

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  16. Traci, what a beautiful son you have. God has blessed him and I'm sure he will use that blessing from now on. How proud you must be to have a wonderful son like him. Isn't God wonderful.
    Hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Remember your mom will be there in spirit just as mine will be with me.
    Hugs, Pat

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  17. What a precious testimony! Thank you for sharing! Your son did a wonderful job!

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  18. Traci, thank you so much for sharing this. Your son is so talented and because of all your posts, I realize how precious your mother was as well. I work providing Hearing Services and it is so wonderful and important that you all make sure your son has what he needs to be able to not only function, but to excel in life. He is so tatented that it is amazing! Such a miracle! You are such an inspiration to me and so many and I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! You are in my prayers during these Holidays.

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  19. Traci--I've only met you through your blog, but I know we'd be good friends outside of your blog! You are such a precious daughter and an awesome mommy. Thanks for sharing your faith boldly. Your 4 boys are off the charts handsome! Just adorable. God bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  20. Oh my goodness....how precious is that???? thanks so much for continuing to share openly about your family and your Mom......I love it!
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    I am certain your Mom smiles down on the beautiful woman you have become!

    Suzanne

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  21. Beautiful Traci!
    You have blessed my through reading your Wednesday posts

    God Bless you this Thanksgiving
    I will be holding your hand (through cyberspace) as you enter this holiday without your mom!

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  22. That is so so sweet. Your mom sounds like such an amazing mother and grandmother.

    Your son is SO talented. He has a beautiful voice!

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  23. I appreciate you continuing to share your mom with us through Wednesdays with Wanda. Through you, she's still touching people's lives. I love this particular story because it was Yvonne (my long-time friend who lost her battle with breast cancer in April at 36) who was the champion of my hearing as well. In her final days she made me promise to finally get the hearing aids I've been needing for so long, back to childhood. I know she was watching in Heaven the day I put my first hearing aid in. It was a gift I really can't describe, though hearing my two little boys absolutely tops ths list. And today I was able to enjoy your son's lovely voice. What a blessing. Thank you for sharing it.

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  24. Wow, during this time of Thanks giving, it a joy to hear this beautiful testimony. May God bless you and your family. Dee Dee

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  25. This has touched my heart like no other. I have a friend whose hearing (since age 2) has been very pour yet he doesn't let it be a handicap. Your mom must have been the most amazing woman and I am so sure that his little voice carried straight to heaven. Thank you for sharing such a personal note about your mom and son.

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  26. Oh Traci I can't begin to tell you how much this post has deeply touched me. Thank you for sharing.

    God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving.

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  27. Love Wednesdays with Wanda! Such a gift you are sharing with us. Your son did great and I know Grandma is watching with joy!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Traci.

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  28. Thank you for being a blessing to others by sharing this story. What an amazing gift your son has been given with his voice and the love of your mom.

    Nancy

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  29. Goosebumps. I look forward to your Wednesday posts, your sons will be so grateful when they look back on these.

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  30. Traci-I remember seeing your sons dressed in their sport coats in the original post and thinking "what a feat just to get four boys dressed and cute". God's wisdom never ceases to amaze me--While Michael's hearing is imperfect, he has been given the gift of a beautiful voice. In His infinite wisdom God plans what we can only hope to understand. I know this will be a hard holiday, but I know of no greater gift than for a mother to see her children and their children walk with God. She knows :)

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  31. Thank you for sharing your son's story with us. He has a wonderful voice. God has bestowed a great talent on him. My children and I enjoyed watching his video. Your mothers love is very evident in your life and in your posts.

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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  32. AMEN Sister....WOW...can your sing!!! I agree with you God has TRULY gifted him with an amazing voice.

    I could listen to him sing that over, and over, and over again.

    Know that I'm thinking about you...and your precious family as you celebrate your first Thanksgiving without your precious Mom!

    Love ya friend.
    Kim~

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  33. Oh Traci! How wonderful!!! I used to sing and lead worship on guitar at my church, but haven't picked it up in 4 years or so (long sordid tale). My 23 year old son began singing at 10 too, and is now a part time musician with his own band as well as part of a kinda well-known local band. He has a minor in classical guitar...I remember teaching him his first chords :o)
    Just before I quit leading, I had the opportunity to co-lead with my son at a few services, and it was a surreal experience.
    Isn't it amazing to see the talent in our kids? You must be so proud, and you have every right to be!

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  34. Hey Traci. I was just getting ready to go to bed and you were on my mind. I wanted to come by and wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know this is your first without your Mom and how much you'll be missing her. I only know her through your blog and am always touched when I read about her and feel like I knew her and miss her (maybe for or with you). Crazy, hun? Anyway, I received a blessing before I could even wish you Happy Thanksgiving. I read your beautiful post and by the time I played the video of your son I was in tears. What a precious and generous person your Mother was and what a blessing hearing your son sing Amazing Grace was for me. He is amazingly gifted and you can just feel the earnest love he has for our Lord.

    Thank you and Jonathan for your blessings to me. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
    Hugs...Tracy

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  35. Wow, Traci I am blown away by Jonathan's singing! Like others have said, his confidence at 10 is amazing as well. I KNOW your Mom was so very proud of him! What a precious son you have.

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  36. I am a few days behind so thought I'd comment here on your kitchen! It is GORGEOUS! I am blown away by your husband's cabinet making ability! Love the glass doors, the beadboard doors, the handles, the light, you name it, I love it! :)

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  37. Thank you for your posts. They both inspire and touch me. You were very blessed to have a Mother who obviously loved you very deeply.

    Your son has a beautiful voice!

    Happy Thanksgiving:)

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  38. What a precious post. Thank you for sharing these special memories with us. Your son has such a wonderful calling upon his life. You can see that He loves his Jesus so much. What a comfort to know that your mom is part of that great cloud of witnesses looking down and cheering you all on in your walk with the Father.

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  39. I am truly curious:

    What if your son lost the rest of his hearing, then what? Nothing wrong in learing ASL as a backup, I mean, really.

    I am Deaf myself and I do hear some with my hearing aid (my parents always has paid for one and I do count my lucky stars) I use ASL as my communcation everyday even though my husband and both of my sons and ALL of my family are hearing. I AM so, so, so thankful that most of my family are willing to learn signs not the other way around by continue making me to talk, lip read, etc. It's very hard, I know. Spend alot of time in speech training, and all, I ain't stupid.

    All in all, I do enjoy reading your post and I don't enjoy seeing people misleading others that hard of hearing people, deaf or whatever can learn how to talk, listen, etc. You have to be able to hear YOURSELF in order to be able to speak fairly well. I know, I can hear my self talk which does help me a great deal but at the same time I am already prepared in losing the rest of my hearing in the future so I won't be entirely upset about it.

    I know I wrote a long comment, took me a couple of days to really push myself to say something.

    Caio!

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  40. Kelly,
    I truly appreciate your comment and your honesty.
    I have often wondered what we would do if Jonathan lost the rest of his hearing. At this point, because he has developed his speech, his audiologist said he would be a good candidate for cochlear implants.
    I said in my post that Jonathan lost his hearing at birth. At least that is what we think. He failed some hearing tests in the hospital, but he was never officially tested because he showed signs of being able to hear. (long story about that, too much to put down here)
    He developed fine as a baby and toddler. His speech developed perfectly just like other children. But at age 3 I started noticing that he was not hearing well, so I took him to the doctor and he had fluid on his ears. His hearing got better, but a few months later, I noticed he was not hearing well again. I took him back to the doctor and they did more testing to find out he had a hearing loss. I don't know if he lost more then or had already lost it at birth. He has more trouble with the higher frequencies than the lower frequencies.
    Jonathan has gone to an amazing hearing and speech center for 7 years. They teach sign and lip reading, but Jonathan has never had to have either of these services.

    When I taught 2nd/3rd grade, before Jonathan was born, I had a little girl in my class who was completely deaf. We had a full time interpreter in the classroom at all times. I learned a lot of sign during that year because at times I had to sign to her myself. That little girl was the love of my life! I have always had a love for the hearing impaired, even before I had Jonathan. I love to talk, so I never like to have a barrier between me and others. I even took some sign language classes at church so I could share my faith with the hearing impaired. I always hoped to be good enough to sign for the hearing impaired during church services...what a ministry! But I was never quite good enough. If Jonathan were born completely deaf, I am sure that my husband and I would have used sign with him. I actually did teach him how to say "please", "thank you", "more", etc, when he was one year old and before he was talking. But not because I thought he had a hearing loss.
    When I found out about Jonathan's hearing loss, of course I was upset, but I knew that no matter what, he was God's perfect creation. I knew God had big plans for him.
    I am truly sorry if my post seemed insensitive toward the hearing impaired, that was never my intention. I did not mean to imply that deaf people can learn to talk or should be forced to learn to lip read, etc. I would not have done that with Jonathan. Like I said, we never had to face that decision.
    Again, I thank you for your comment. May God bless you and your family!
    Traci

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  41. Traci
    I posted an award for you.

    Had an idea I wanted to run by you also. I can send you an e-mail tomorrow since it it 12:15 am and I need to hit they hay

    Cheri

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  42. You have such an amazing family. Thank you for sharing your faith through this blog. Your son has a wonderful voice. Truly!

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  43. Tracy:

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I was a little bit leary about checking back. :) I worry for children like yours and I am grateful that you are doing everything you can for your son. You didn't offend me at all, in fact, after I hit the summit button, I was concerned that I had offened you!! I am just very strong on my views and want our future children such as yours to grow up comfortable with their hearing loss.

    I am just concerned with parents thinking, oh, why can't my child be like yours with that much amount of hearing loss. I hear and see that all the time. I can speak very well, ahem, I even have some southern accent (arkansas native) if I may say so! I have had parents asking me why can't their child speak like I can...it does break my heart. I try to tell them that I just had a straw of luck and a LOT of speech lessons, public and private. Trust me, it was no fun. Funny how things turn out now, both of my parents sign to me at the best of their ability.

    As for CI, if you are considering that for your son in the future, please, and please do your research on it before it is to be done. I will say this: I am not a big advocate of it at all. I do try to encourage parents to let the child make the decision in wanting it or not. It's a life long medical decision that can really mess things up at a later life: ie: not able to have it removed if needed.

    Okay, I think I hogged up your comment section.
    Again thanks for being so nice to me about this, I can come on a little to strong at times and do often come to regret it later.

    BTW: I DO love your blogs, I have bookmarked so many of your ideas and I am starting to save my money for power tools (hubby won't share his beloved toys with me,,, ;) -- still love him)

    Take care!

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  44. You don't know me. I stubbled upon your blog somehow and just finished watching your son sing. All I can say is that he is so AMAZING! He sure does have a blessed gift! Wow. I had goosebumps watching him. How did he ever make it through that song at him grandma's funeral. I am speechless.

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  45. LaDonna Jaynes IngramNovember 28, 2009 at 10:53 PM

    Thanks for posting. I can't believe how long it's been since I've seen you last. You have beautiful children and Jonathan's song was spectacular! We have been praying for your family during these past months. Your mother was an amazing lady!

    LaDonna Jaynes Ingram
    Richmond, KY

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  46. WOW!!!! First I want to say how very sorry I am to hear of you Mom's passing. I'm sure you know this but with the strong Faith you and your family have you will get through this.

    Tracy...Your son is AMAZING!! What a special gift to have and use it in such an inspirational way.

    You have a beautiful family...Congrats!!!
    You will remain in my prayers!!
    Jamie

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  47. He has such a beautiful voice. And what an amazing woman your mother was. And such a great example for your young boys.

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  48. This is a beautiful post...God Bless you and your sweet family. I'm Glad I found you through Kim's Blog at My Domestic Bliss.
    Hope you have a wonderful day~

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  49. I have never read your blog before just now. I found you through a series of blogs that started with my sister. She follows Shanty2Chic. Anyways, I just read this post and have been so touched by it. What a brave and precious child to sing at his grandmother's funeral. That was probably hard for him, but I am sure he was so glad to be able to do it. Your mother certainly has left a lasting legacy. I think it is so incredible that a person's life and love for her grandsons can touch a total stranger in such a profound way. That is the power of the love of God. It binds His kids together in a unique way. May God richly bless you and your family with ALL of His goodness.

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  50. Amazing, Powerful, and what a Blessing! I cannot even beging to tell you how much my heart has been blessed stumbling across your blog! Your son is very gifted with his voice. I know your Mama was proud! Thanks for sharing with us.

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  51. As I write this tears are streaming down my face. Your story has touched me so much. God has been telling me lately to live in the moment and realize what a gift each and every day is. This "story" shows me in such a strong way how we can be hear today and gone tomorrow. Your mom leaves behind a tremendous legacy (and I just started reading, I'm sure I've not scratched the surface). She has inspired me and so have you. I hope to be half the mother she sounds like she was to my two little ones. Your son sounded AMAZING. I'm sure you're mom would've been so proud of him.

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