Doris & Guy McCloskey are our Seen & Heard profiles in the January/February 2016 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which I design bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). I photographed them at Convention 2014 in Austin, TX.
Doris and Guy have a lot in common, one being hearing loss. They both joined HLAA in 2011 and are members of the HLAA Lincoln Park Chapter in Chicago. Doris says about the chapter, “I‘m always encouraged meeting others who have overcome the hearing challenges I’m currently encountering.”
They enjoy attending the HLAA Convention. Doris says she appreciates the informative talks and the camaraderie of all the wonderful people they meet. Guy likes the Exhibit Hall and seeing all the new technology.
MY HEARING LOSS… I was born with Ménière’s disease, but it wasn’t detected until late in life because I was able to pass the hearing tests given in elementary school. If I was seated at the front of the class, I did well, but if seated at the back I was labeled a ‘slow learner.’ Most people with Ménière’s have it on one side of their family and in one ear. It’s on both sides of my family and in both ears. My hearing loss became noticeable in mid-life. I’ve worn hearing aids for 20 years and received a cochlear implant in 2012.
SAGE ADVICE FOR SOMEONE NEWLY-DIAGNOSED WITH HEARING LOSS…
Get through the denial stage as soon as possible. I think we all go through it. Hearing aids are improving all the time and with hearing assistive technology, there’s something out there for everyone.
A FUNNY HEARING LOSS MOMENT… Most people don’t know I have hearing loss. I was giving a presentation and I talked about my hearing loss. Afterward, a colleague said,
‘All these years you’ve had a hearing loss? I thought you were just stuck up.’
DISADVANTAGES OF A HEARING LOSS… The tendency to withdraw from family and friends
ADVANTAGES OF A HEARING LOSS… I don’t have to be bothered by crying babies on airplanes.
WHEN I GREW UP I WANTED TO BE… I still haven’t figured that out.
FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY… Laughing with my mom. It lasted throughout our lives together. I still chuckle about many of those moments.
PETS? Not now, but we’ve had many—dogs and cats, birds, fish, turtles, hamsters and a lot of dried up salamanders that escaped their habitats.
IF YOU COULD SIT NEXT TO SOMEONE ON AN AIRPLANE WHO WOULD IT BE?
HARDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE? Survive the loss of our son
I LOVE THE SOUND OF… rain on the windowpane.
IN MY SPARE TIME… Spare time? Someone has spare time?
HAPPINESS IS… leading a contributive life and seeing others smile, even people I don’t know.
HOBBIES? Creating stained glass windows and tabletops
WHO HAS HAD THE MOST INFLUENCE IN YOUR LIFE? My mentor in life, Daisaku Ikeda
FAVORITE PLACE TO BE… Out in my community, especially with my husband and friends.
I COLLECT… Well, I wouldn’t say I collect them, but because so many friends know
I love Paris, I have an embarrassing collection of Eiffel Towers.
IF I RULED THE WORLD… there would be peace, not simply the absence of war.
FIVE PLACES I HAVE LIVED… Los Angeles; Guadalajara, Mexico; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; and Santa Monica, California
FIVE FAVORITE BOOKS… The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, Leaves of Grass, Scaramouch, Round Ireland with a Frig, The Butterfly and the Bulldozer
MY FRIENDS WOULD SAY I AM… a good listener.
MY KIDS TAUGHT ME… about life.
MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME… to be confident and ask for what I want.
MY FATHER TAUGHT ME… to be independent.
GET ANYTHING GOOD IN THE MAIL LATELY? A new MED-EL case for my cochlear implant remote, complimentary
BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD… My cochlear implant and hearing assistive technology
WORD I OVERUSE… FABULOUS!
MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL? Morning person—I love to see the sun rise
I HAVE THE UNCANNY ABILITY TO… put my foot in my mouth.
SOMETHING IN YOUR HOME THAT YOU ARE SURE MOST PEOPLE DON’T… A Buddhist altar
THREE FAVORITE POSSESSIONS… My wedding ring, my mother-in-law’s wedding ring, my home
LEARNING ANYTHING NEW? To truly cook for only two people
FAVORITE QUOTE… “Life itself is the proper binge.” (Julia Child)
EVER MEET ANYONE FAMOUS? Yes, many, starting with President Eisenhower.
LONG-TERM GOAL… to live a healthy long, contributive life
SHORT TERM GOALS… going paperless and getting rid of anything I don’t use or wear on a regular basis
BIGGEST PET PEEVE IS… duplicity
RIGHT NOW I AM CRAVING… good weather for a long walk.
THE KINDEST THING ANYONE HAS DONE FOR YOU… introduce me to the self-empowering practice of Nichiren Buddhism
GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT? A happy marriage of 44 years
BEST THING ABOUT BEING AN HLAA MEMBER… Sharing the hearing loss experience with others
MY HEARING LOSS… It started with my wife, but now I have moderate-to-severe hearing loss and tinnitus from my military service.
SAGE ADVICE FOR SOMEONE NEWLY-DIAGNOSED WITH HEARING LOSS… Don’t deny it! There are wonderful hearing assistive devices that help tremendously.
DISADVANTAGES OF A HEARING LOSS… isolation—not only socially and business-wise, but with family and friends
ADVANTAGES OF A HEARING LOSS… Sensitivity to others with similar losses
IF YOU COULD SIT NEXT TO SOMEONE ON AN AIRPLANE WHO WOULD IT BE? My wife
HARDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE? Go on after the death of our son
HAPPINESS IS… the conviction that I can advance, even late in life.
SPEAK ANY LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH? Japanese, French, American
Sign Language, and some Spanish, German and Italian
WHO HAS HAD THE MOST INFLUENCE IN YOUR LIFE? Daisaku Ikeda, my Buddhist mentor
PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED THAT… I am romantic. Doris doesn’t want me to tell anyone.
IF I RULED THE WORLD… people would respect their own lives and those of others.
FIVE PLACES I HAVE LIVED… Akron; Toledo; Detroit; Chicago; Los Angeles and D.C.
JOBS I’VE HAD… U.S. Army, Soka Gakkai International-USA
LAST BOOK I READ… L’Etranger by Albert Camus
I AM… true to myself, true to others, and consistent.
MY KIDS TAUGHT ME… that I’m not their boss.
MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME… to love unreservedly.
MY FATHER TAUGHT ME… to survive.
I HAVE THE UNCANNY ABILITY TO… recognize the truth in others.
I SIMPLY CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT… human interactions.
SOMETHING IN YOUR HOME THAT YOU’RE SURE PEOPLE DON’T HAVE…
The Gohonzon, Buddhist object of devotion
FAVORITE QUOTE… “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day that thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell, my blessing season this in thee! (Hamlet, I, iii)
HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED? For having contributed to the well-being of others
GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT? Developing human relationships