Hillary was hard of hearing. Sometime around 12 years old, Hillary got really sick and ended up taking a bunch of antibiotics. When the proverbial dust settled she had what was officially classed as profound hearing loss.
With her hearing aids in if you talked at a relatively normal volume, enunciated clearly and generally faced her you might not have noticed.
Her ability to hear high pitched sounds was particularly bad. Any quieter background noise would be mostly lost even with the hearing aids in. Once she took them out for the night, the audible world largely turned off.
Despite some loud concerts earlier in my life, I currently still have fairly good hearing. I learned fairly early on which particular sounds she missed, which ones she liked to know about and would tell her about the ones that I loved.
In the spring, when the baby birds were just starting their early morning high pitched peeps, I would let her know every morning that the nest nearby was peeping.
It rains a lot in the Greater Vancouver area. I love the sound of rain, both inside the house and being out in it. Other than a complete downpour, the sounds of the rain on the roof were not something Hillary could hear. Whenever it started to rain in the evening and we were lying in bed, I would tell her. Sometimes I would describe the patter, sometimes if her hearing aids were already out, I'd just make the American Sign Language sign for rain. We would then cuddle.
The last time I talked about the rain this way with Hillary was six days before she died in the palliative ward. I cuddled.
It started raining last night at about 9:30pm. Relatively hard and absolutely in the window that I would have gone through this little routine we had.
This was the first rainfall since then that I couldn't share.