Martian Goods – excerpt in ASL

Noelle Campbell:

Thanks to the efforts of my friends, we bring you an excerpt of the story “Martian Goods” (by me) in ASL!! Don’t forget to donate to the kickstarter campaign – follow the link for the video!

Originally posted on Noelle Campbell:

Lots of you guys know I was married to a deaf man, and so have done a lot of things and gathered many experiences form within the deaf community.  Some of my characters are inspired by the deaf people I know (and even some of the dreaded CODAs ;P ).  This excerpt below has been interpreted very excellently by Robert Gardner, one of the young men who served a mission to the Fallbrook Deaf Branch and did much service for my husband and I.

 

Please support the kickstarter project and get the rest of the story with a donation: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/skyrocket/martian-goods-and-other-stories/backers

Here is a link to Robert’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQgGSmqwKqiZJfXiek86ZHA

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I promise…

I found a copy of Sam’s vows to me when I was going through my manuscripts for Mars.  I don’t believe it was a coincidence.  I believe his hand was in that.  Here are his vows:

I, Sam, want you, Noelle
To be my wife,
To have and to hold
From this day forward;
For better or for worse,
For richer or for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish,
Never to part.

I promise to be faithful to you,
To be with you through the good and bad,
To support you in any way I can,
To live for you or die for you.

Finally, I promise to remember
That God brought us together,
And that I am accountable to Him
To be the best husband and father I can be.

In return, I edited the dedication page for my book to be published soon (see the video for it at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/skyrocket/martian-goods-and-other-stories )

For Sam

 

You promised to live and die for me,

and here is my vow to you:

I promise that while I live, you will live on

in stories, in tales, as:

Sir Random Loud Noise

aka slyfoot

My hobbit

Patriarch of Calinor

and every hero I create or tell of.

 

You will always be the best man I have ever known.

I love you.

6th Anniversary

Today is my (and my Hobbit’s) 6th anniversary.  I am wearing the blouse that I wore when we met.

Ironically, today is the day this particular kickstarter project was launched:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/skyrocket/martian-goods-and-other-stories

That’s my book. Support it if you would, get a free book and make my Hobbit happy.  These stories were how he got interested in me (which you may know if you’ve read his guest posts). 

Happy Anniversary, sweetie.

The Sam Touch

My husband, Sam Campbell III, was deaf and legally blind (as you probably know).  Throughout our marriage there were many, many, MANY things that he missed, that he misunderstood, that he wrongly perceived, due to his disabilities.  Sometimes he didn’t know I was crying, even if I was standing there face to face with him.  Sometimes I cleaned up after a mess he made, but didn’t see.  I cleaned about a million broken glasses–so many we started buying paper cups.  Sometimes I cleared something out of his path that he would have tripped on.  I led him.  I interpreted for him.  I drove him.  I tried to get him to only wash one load in the washing machine… Sometimes I guided him here or there with just lights I put up in the hall.

Personally, I may have envied that he got to be home to raise the kids instead of me.  I still have always wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I didn’t envy the deaf/blindness and all the emotional burden that brings.  I may have resented his disabilities as much as he did at times, but I tried hard to serve him without complaining, because I love him so very much and serving him made me all that much more a part of his life, his world, and I really thought if everyone knew him as well as I did, they would love him just as much.

Sometimes Sam was gruff.  He could be downright scary when he was angry and sometimes he had a hair trigger. Often he was grumpy-who could blame him?  Every day was a struggle – and he didn’t see all the people stepping out of the way for him, moving things so he wouldn’t trip on them, and all the other millions of little acts of kindness that actually made his life easier than it would have been without it, but I did.  I saw.  I also learned to look past the grumpiness and focus on the selfless acts that my husband did for me, made even more selfless because he had every justification for needing more attention than I did.  I saw what he did.  I never thought of myself as selfless as he was, but I did my service for him in different ways, mostly physical and financial. He was always the spiritual leader of the house, even when he thought I was more spiritual, that I was closer to God than he was.  He was always the one to get us back to the temple and never complained even a little bit about going to church. — It is very hard to find excuses to miss church when a deaf blind man doesn’t give quite reasonable excuses (like “I don’t understand anything that’s going on there”) not to go, but actually goes out of his way to attend.

I think I learned something valuable about our relationship NOW from our relationship BEFORE he died.

I knew what his struggles were.  I saw them, I heard about them, I even had to counsel with him on some of them.  So those selfless acts, even if I didn’t personally witness them, done on my (or the family’s) behalf were all the more beautiful.  This is actually how I recognize what he is still doing for me now.  I learned to recognize them when he was still here.  Call them “Sam’s Touch.”  I recognize it now because it feels like Sam.  I remember how it felt when he served me before, and it’s that same feeling now.  Its how I think you can recognize what others (beyond the veil, and even here) are doing for you.  

I think this is why the church counsels you to keep a journal.  If you can’t remember how someone influences you, how they make you feel, go back and read it, and then you will know when they are influencing you still.  You will feel it.  You will recognize them because you know them so well.

The ironic thing about our marriage is now I am the deaf and blind one, and I can’t see what he is doing for me, but I know he’s there.  I feel him moving things out of the way for me, putting up lights for me, like I did for him, and I am comforted and reassured that our marriage is still strong.  Perhaps it is fitting for him to see and be as frustrated serving the deaf/blind as it was for me, but maybe it makes him love me and to be with me as much as serving him made me love him (and to be with him).

I do think so.  I think so because I can still feel him.  I recognize his touch.  And that’s why I don’t cry as much or as often.  I’m not ‘remarkably’ recovered, no, I’ve just become deaf and blind and am mostly ignorant of the things being done for my behalf by others beyond the veil.  I see the results, though–I am able to navigate life much more easily than I have any right to expect, and so I thank these angels, my Father in Heaven, and Sam–my hobbit, for lighting my way on the road that goes ever on and on.

CODAS, kinda

My kids are not technically “CODAS” (children of deaf adults) because I am not deaf, but they did grow up with CODAS and they picked up a lot of habits from them.  My son will, when ever I am on the phone, start signing to me thinking it is an acceptable interruption and that I can understand the person on the phone and him at the same time.  The problem with this is that I still translate ASL into English in my head and can’t concentrate on two voices at the same time, even if one is silent.  But it’s funny they think I can and that I won’t get annoyed by the interruption as long as it’s in ASL.

Letters to my Hobbit – 17

I joined a LDS widow group by invitation from a sister in the ward who lost her husband rather suddenly.  They were married 7 years.  We were married 6 on this Earth.  It is a good place to talk and get empathy, but it also stirs up a lot of old (I guess not really that old, only 3 months old) memories.

I have felt really, really bad about your hospital experience.  I have felt bad about the way you were cared for.  Someone asked me if it was because of your disabilities, and I have to say yes.  When someone thinks, because of your disability, that they should make decisions on your behalf because you are ‘impaired,’ and those decisions end up causing you severe pain and even death, then yes.  I have to believe that their inability to deal with you as if you were another fully functioning adult male cost you your life.

I know you hated the hospital.  You even cried.  They wouldn’t feed you because of your stomach pains, and in the end, they stuck a tube down your nose and you were constantly gagging – incredibly thirsty (because they wouldn’t give you water either) and so hungry that you said you just wanted jello so bad, and cried because you knew you wouldn’t get it.

I wish I could go back.  I wanted to give you water the Tuesday before you died, but I thought that the hospital knew what they were doing.  I wish I had given you water.  I wish things hadn’t been so bad.  If I had knew how truly bad they were, I would have fought harder, of course.  But I thought you’d come back home.  I really did.

Before your lungs collapsed, you said something about “if I die,” so you must have felt things were really going wrong by that point.  And you did die a little more than 12 hours after that.  I thought you were just being paraoid and a little pessimistic because you had been in the hospital 3 times at that point, and never got better.  Even the pain meds weren’t strong enough.

I wish I knew what really happened.  I know you went in for what the hospital called “pancreatitus,” but they treated that, toook your gall bladder out and you still had the same symptoms as you did before you went into the hospital.  I don’t think you died of an abscess due to gall bladder surgery, like the death certificate says.  I think whatever you went in for they missed, and it killed you.  I don’t know what it was, and obviously the doctors didn’t either.  Your surgeon even told me on the day you died that he had “no idea” what was wrong and that the attempt to drain the abscess revealed it wasn’t a normal abscess at all.  It might not have been an abscess from your surgery. 

I just wish things had gone better.  That your passing would have been easier.  That I wouldn’t have doubted you so much.  I wish I hadn’t got mad at you that Saturday for waking me up with vomiting.  I wish I hadn’t left on your birthday when they moved you to ICU — but they wouldn’t let me sit in the room with you.  They kept me in the dark. They didn’t say you were dying.  They said you were ‘seriously ill.’ 

I thought you’d come home, even then. If I knew you weren’t coming home, I would have stayed.  I would have demanded they let me hold your hand, or foot or SOMETHING.  I wouldn’t have left your side.

I just didn’t know…

I still say “I’m so sorry,” whenever I think about what happened at the hospital.  And I am.  Maybe you are fine with everything now, but I’m still so sorry…

Miss you.

Noelle