There once was a man who was getting up in age. His legs and his back hurt. His arms weren’t as strong as they once were. He didn’t complain about these changes to anyone because they were about getting old, and complaining wouldn’t change that very fact. The older man could walk, even though it was painful, and his arms could lift what they could lift. It was good enough.
One morning, a cold wind drove him from his sleep, and he sat up wrapping his blanket tighter around his body and lifted it over his head. He dragged his blanket and walked toward the place that felt the most cold. One of his windows was broken and cracked. The man felt like complaining, but he knew there was no reason. Complaining wouldn’t change the fact that a cold wind was invading his home.
The man could call one of his neighbors and ask for help, but he didn’t want to be a bother. He found an envelope from the mail, and he knew he had some duct tape. His arthritic hands placed the envelope over the crack, and taped it securely over the windows frame. The cold air coming through the crack stopped, and the older man’s back and legs complained, but he didn’t. It didn’t change anything. He looked at his work and nodded his head. It was good enough.
The next morning, he came out of a sound sleep, cold and shivering. The old man wrapped his blanket around him and searched for the source of the coldness. His patch yesterday with the envelope was no longer keeping the cold out. The wind had driven sleet against the window, and the envelope was wet. The problem was worse, and he was at a loss at what to do to fix it. Nothing would make it good enough.
There was knock at the door. The ache in his back and legs were worse in the cold and it took him some time to get there. What a day he thought. He yelled through the door asking who it was.
“It is your neighbor. We had a snow storm last night and I am coming to check on you.” He opened the door and his neighbor entered the house. “Why is it so cold in here?”
The old man took him to the window. The neighbor inspected the damage and turned toward him with a smile. “I have the tools and the materials in my garage to fix this within the hour. I hope you haven’t had to suffer long, and that you would feel comfortable to ask for help when you need help.”
The man didn’t feel comfortable, he never has, but he was grateful to tears that his window was going to be fixed. It took less than an hour, and the man relaxed as his house began to warm. He made a pot of coffee, and sat with his neighbor as they talked about his safety. The neighbor promised to check on him more, and the old man promised to ask for help when he needed it. He thanked his neighbor again and again as he walked him to the door. They both passed the repaired window and both realized that it wasn’t just good enough…it was better. ~~~~
As I have aged, and in my experience with hearing loss, I found myself allowing my life experience to be good enough. I found polite ways to ask people to repeat themselves. I invaded personal space to hopefully hear better. Also, I tolerated TV entertainment when in a group because the volume was too low for me, and I didn’t understand what was going on. When I was by myself watching TV, the volume went up.
The day I was willing to ask for help, is the day that I was able to reconnect with my world in a real way. I had my hearing checked. Dr. Reikowski went over the results with me and showed me how my days could be better, not just good enough. He found technology that fit my needs, and I was grateful to tears that my hearing loss was getting fixed. He checks on me to see if my therapy is successful. If there are problems he or Dr. Porter find a solution. They check, and I ask for help. It is not just good enough, but a team effort to make it better.