The Sign(s) Of A Good Neighborhood

, , | Friendly | May 12, 2017

(My wife and I have just moved to a new neighborhood. A few days after we move in, my wife is at the store, and I am home alone. I am Deaf, and we have trained our dog to come get one of us when someone is at the door. The dog alerts me, so I grab a pen and paper and head to the front door, prepared for a tedious and frustrating encounter with a new neighbor. I open the door, and there’s a pair of men standing there. One of them starts to speak, and I quickly motion that I am Deaf. I start to write on the paper, but he waves his hand to get my attention again.)

Man: *in sign language* “Do you sign?”

(I’m momentarily stunned, as I am not used to meeting random people who sign. Then, I am elated. The rest of this conversation takes place in American Sign Language.)

Me: “Yes!”

Man: “I’m [Man], and this is my husband, [Husband].”

(He shows me their name signs, special signs that are used to identify people without having to fingerspell their full name. Name signs are only given by Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing people to others who are involved with the Deaf/HoH community.)

Man: “We live across the street and wanted to say welcome!”

Me: “Thank you! I’m [My Name].” *I show them my name sign* “It’s so nice to meet you. And you sign!”

Man: “Yes, our son is Deaf. Our family signs, and some of the other neighbors do, too.”

(He points them out to me — his sister, and two close friends of his family. At this point, I am almost jumping up and down with happiness. They invite my wife and me over for dinner later, where we meet their children and the aforementioned neighbors. That was 13 years ago, and that group of people are like family to us now. Every day I think about how lucky I am to have these wonderful people in my life.)

1 Thumbs