Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I just met Jinny on September 6th of this year. It was our first time attending our new church and my family sat a couple rows behind her. During worship I noticed that she was signing the songs.

In December of 2005 I was diagnosed with Spasmodic Dysphonia after a year of back and forth with doctors and speech pathologists because I kept losing my voice. I had often thought of learning to sign but didn’t pursue it due to the fact that in order to communicate that way with my friends and family they would all have to learn it too.

My son’s school holds their parent/teacher conferences in the gym. It is always very difficult for me because I cannot be heard. Last year he had a deaf English teacher and our conferences were so easy that I joked about needing to get some deaf friends. I approached Jinny after the service and the following Wednesday she came to my house.

Jinny taught herself to sign and had a real love for the deaf community. She sent me the online sites she used and showed me her books. When we would talk she would sign so I could learn. She invited me to attend a 10 week study with her at another church that was to be signed. I decided to keep going even though there was no one deaf in attendance this year to sign for and we sat together each week.

Jinny shared some of her story with me. Her heart showed through her honesty and the time I spent with her was a blessing to me. Her last Sunday at church she excitedly introduced me to a lady that was visiting and interested in coming to the women’s study that is now meeting at my house. She told me she was going to come to the Tea I’m hosting later this week…

It is always such a shock when someone dies unexpectedly. We’ve experienced some losses in our family recently and my heart goes out to Jinny’s family. It is somehow odd to keep moving forward when someone you love is no longer here… especially during holidays. Christmas will soon be here and I know that will be a hard day. Try to remember that it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus in who Jinny put her trust.

I often listen to country music and I heard a song I hadn’t before this week. Toby Keith wrote it for his friend that recently died. Even though I did not know Jinny long I thought about her as I listened to the chorus:

I'm gonna miss that smile
I'm gonna miss you my friend
Even though it hurts the way it ended up
I'd do it all again
So play it sweet in heaven'
Cause Thats right where you want to be
I'm not cryin cause I feel so sorry for you
I'm cryin for me


Karen Deborah said...

I am so sorry you lost this special friend. Her celebration this year is a big one being in heaven now. But i am sorry for you. I think signing is a great idea and for your family to learn it too. Who knows who you will meet that you may need to share with?

Angela said...

I had asked at my blog to pray for this family on FF...I don't think I've mentioned this to you,,I'm teaching the wee ones how to sign the Alphabet..even the 1 year old has now started to imitate us when we are doing it..

This was a beautiful post Coffee that you did....