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We Didn’t Know We Were Making Memories

“No!! Peggy died. Noooo!!”

The text from my friend Sue jolted me awake. I fought to make sense of the words as I wiped sleep from my eyes.

Peggy. Gone.

How could that be? We had chatted through Facebook before I left for Africa. And now there would never be another chat again.

I met Peggy through Sue–the two of them met in college. Through the years we stayed in touch, always waiting for that proverbial “Someday” when the kids were grown and we could have more time together.

The three of us shared a love for John Denver songs. Despite being deaf, we were able to enjoy his music. One year, I made a CD of my favorite John Denver songs for Peggy and I introduced her to songs she hadn’t heard him sing before.

Last year, we got together to attend a small-town production of John Denver’s music. It was just two days after my mom died. I needed that time away to handle my sorrow. What better way to spend the day than with music and friends.

After the last song ended, we took a walk in the woods, soaking up the beauty around us. We paused on a bridge, grabbing a snapshot.

“We didn’t know we were making memories, we were just having fun.”  ~Unknown

Peggy took us to the river. As we gazed at the water, an eagle flew by. John Denver loved eagles and immediately, the song “The Eagle and the Hawk” flowed through my mind. I felt my mother’s spirit at that river. I ached for her.

And now I ache for Peggy.

Here are the words to her favorite John Denver song, The Wings That Fly Us Home:

 

“I know that love is seeing all the infinite in one.

In the brotherhood of creatures, through the Father, through the Son.

The vision of your goodness will sustain me through the cold.

Take my hand now to remember when you find yourself alone: you are never alone.

And the spirit fills the darkness of the heavens.

It fills the endless yearning of the soul.

It lives within a star too far to dream of.

It lives within each part and is the whole.”

~The Wings That Fly Us Home, John Denver (Peggy’s favorite song)

I started wondering how I could get some new love songs to try out.  Then it hit me:

Twitter!

I was tired of hearing my son's rock and rap music blasting in the house, so I knew I wanted to go for something mellow and meaningful.  So I put out this tweet:

And guess what?  I have a whole bunch of love songs to try out before I buy them on iTunes:

ZenMonkey
ZenMonkey @deafmom, "The Story" by Brandi Carlile.

Only one song was repeated twice as a favorite, Elton John's Your Song.  I also received several via direct message, but since they came in privately, I'm guessing they didn't want their choices to be shared.   I'm so excited that I have a list of songs to pull up lyrics to and to start learning some new music.  

Thanks, Twitterville!

My favorite love song is Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel.  This was the song played at our wedding. 

What's your favorite love song?

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Finding Love Songs on Twitter

At the Sparkplugging/One2OneNetwork event last week, one of the items in the swag bag was a gift certificate for iTunes.  I was really excited to see this, because I was getting a little tired of the same old music playing over and over.  It was time for some fresh music, but I had no clue where to start.  I’ve spent money on CDs before only to find that I only liked one song on an entire CD. 

I started wondering how I could get some new love songs to try out.  Then it hit me:

Twitter!

I was tired of hearing my son’s rock and rap music blasting in the house, so I knew I wanted to go for something mellow and meaningful.  So I put out this tweet:

And guess what?  I have a whole bunch of love songs to try out before I buy them on iTunes:

ZenMonkey
ZenMonkey @deafmom, “The Story” by Brandi Carlile.

Only one song was repeated twice as a favorite, Elton John’s Your Song.  I also received several via direct message, but since they came in privately, I’m guessing they didn’t want their choices to be shared.   I’m so excited that I have a list of songs to pull up lyrics to and to start learning some new music.  

Thanks, Twitterville!

My favorite love song is Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel.  This was the song played at our wedding. 

What’s your favorite love song?

view the video here and the lyrics here.

John Kinstler works as a Communication Technology Counselor at the Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing /UniversaLink in Wisconsin.  The non-profit organization has a store and online catalog that specializes in products for deaf and hard of hearing consumers.

I work with a team of three others," said John.   "We assist customers with their questions about products that we carry and help them decide on what products to purchase by demonstrating them.   We help them select products that will help alert them to their environment, such as the doorbell ringing,  the phone ringing, or a baby crying ."

John grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, attending schools in the mainstream.  "My parents did not want me to learn American Sign Language," said John.  "I went to NTID/RIT at the age of eighteen.  I wanted to escape, to find my deaf identity."

In college, John began to soak up ASL like a sponge.  He discovered that he enjoyed acting and he loved signing to music.  "I grew up on John Denver's music.  I first learned his songs in grade school.  The teacher printed out the lyrics to 'Country Roads' and I was able to follow along with practice, listening to the songs over and over."

For ten years, John dove into acting.  He performed with the National Theatre of the Deaf, Sunshine Too and the Cleveland Sign Stage Theatre.  John produced a DVD, Sign and ABCs which won a Parent Choice Award in 1994.

In 2005, John obtained a cochlear implant and then a second one in 2007.  "My understanding of speech went from seven percent to eighty-eight percent," said John.  "Music became sharper and I was surprised to be able to pick out various instruments that I wasn't able to hear in songs with my hearing aids."

Today, John is working on a new career path: becoming a comedian.  He is doing stand-up comedy and practicing his comedy skills in local comedy clubs.

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John Kinstler, Communication Technology Counselor

My first introduction to John Kinstler was on YouTube, where I came across one of my favorite John Denver songs translated into American Sign Language.  I was immediately captivated by John’s interpretation of “Looking for Space,” for he signed it beautifully.  You can view the video here and the lyrics here.

John Kinstler works as a Communication Technology Counselor at the Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing /UniversaLink in Wisconsin.  The non-profit organization has a store and online catalog that specializes in products for deaf and hard of hearing consumers.

I work with a team of three others,” said John.   “We assist customers with their questions about products that we carry and help them decide on what products to purchase by demonstrating them.   We help them select products that will help alert them to their environment, such as the doorbell ringing,  the phone ringing, or a baby crying .”

John grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, attending schools in the mainstream.  “My parents did not want me to learn American Sign Language,” said John.  “I went to NTID/RIT at the age of eighteen.  I wanted to escape, to find my deaf identity.”

In college, John began to soak up ASL like a sponge.  He discovered that he enjoyed acting and he loved signing to music.  “I grew up on John Denver’s music.  I first learned his songs in grade school.  The teacher printed out the lyrics to ‘Country Roads’ and I was able to follow along with practice, listening to the songs over and over.”

For ten years, John dove into acting.  He performed with the National Theatre of the Deaf, Sunshine Too and the Cleveland Sign Stage Theatre.  John produced a DVD, Sign and ABCs which won a Parent Choice Award in 1994.

In 2005, John obtained a cochlear implant and then a second one in 2007.  “My understanding of speech went from seven percent to eighty-eight percent,” said John.  “Music became sharper and I was surprised to be able to pick out various instruments that I wasn’t able to hear in songs with my hearing aids.”

Today, John is working on a new career path: becoming a comedian.  He is doing stand-up comedy and practicing his comedy skills in local comedy clubs.

The D-Pan DVD Giveaway Winner!

We had 25 entries for the D-Pan DVD Giveaway and thanks to Random.org, we have a winner!

Daisy from Compost Happens! (Gotta love that blog title!)

Congrats, Daisy!  Your D-Pan DVD will be on its way for you to enjoy soon!

 Included in the DVD:

"Waiting on The World To Change" By John Mayer

"Beautiful" By Christina Aguilera

Eminem's "Lose Yourself" Performed by Sponge

Community Created  ASL Music Video's

Signing Songs: The Making of D-PAN Music Videos (Mini-Documentary)

Special Features & More!

 

All  of the videos are closed captioned and subtitled on the DVD.  Each of the D-PAN performers receive a royalty based on sales revenue.  All of the sales from the music videos will fund upcoming projects.

As a special to the readers of A Deaf Mom Shares Her World, Sean is giving away a free copy of the D-Pan, It's Everybody's Music DVD.  Everyone who leaves a comment below will be entered into the free give away.  The deadline for this is Monday, September 22 at midnight.  The winner will be chosen by Random.org.  You must enter your email in the field (email will not be shown) and the winner will be notified on Tuesday.  D-Pan will send the DVD directly to the winner.

Comment away!

 

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Enter the D-Pan ASL Music Give Away Here!

 

 

I recently had the opportunity to chat with D-Pan founder, Sean Forbes, via videophone.  D-Pan is a company that produces popular music videos signed in American Sign Language.  Sean became deaf at the age of one from spinal meningitis.  The son of two musicians, Sean was the only one of his two brothers to pursue a career in the music field.  Sean grew up in the mainstream and learned American Sign Language as a young adult.

Sean compiled a collection of songs signed with American Sign Language and produced a DVD titled, D-Pan, It’s Everybody’s Music, Volume I.  Included in the DVD:

“Waiting on The World To Change” By John Mayer

“Beautiful” By Christina Aguilera

Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” Performed by Sponge

Community Created  ASL Music Video’s

Signing Songs: The Making of D-PAN Music Videos (Mini-Documentary)

Special Features & More!

 

All  of the videos are closed captioned and subtitled on the DVD.  Each of the D-PAN performers receive a royalty based on sales revenue.  All of the sales from the music videos will fund upcoming projects.

As a special to the readers of A Deaf Mom Shares Her World, Sean is giving away a free copy of the D-Pan, It’s Everybody’s Music DVD.  Everyone who leaves a comment below will be entered into the free give away.  The deadline for this is Monday, September 22 at midnight.  The winner will be chosen by Random.org.  You must enter your email in the field (email will not be shown) and the winner will be notified on Tuesday.  D-Pan will send the DVD directly to the winner.

Comment away!