I am in the middle of writing a memoir about my Mother, who died seven years ago. She had her voice box removed in 1993 and lived for 12 more years despite a great deal of pain and compications, including a repeated bout of cancer that was treated with radical radiation.
I remember a time not too long after her surgery --- she had just been fitted with her voice prosthesis and was learning how to speak effectively with it in. We had gone to a card store as we so often loved to do, finding a card that would send us into mutual hysterics. A lady came over to ask Mother if she needed anything and Mother asked if she had a particular line of card. The lady answered her but then turned all her attention to me for the remainder of the conversation, even going so far as to talk about Mother (the same Mother who was standing in front of her) in the 3rd person. Yes, it might have been a bit difficult to understand every word Mother said, but the saleslady quit listening as soon as she saw a disability.
Just for today, I am going to strive to listen to each person I encounter, no matter what I have to get past to hear what they have to say.
Be kind to each other----it pays off in great dividends!