Choose Love: Extraordinary Love Stories

Myranda + Grant | Persistence in Love and Hearing

August 09, 2019 Choose Love Season 1
Choose Love: Extraordinary Love Stories
Myranda + Grant | Persistence in Love and Hearing
Show Notes Transcript

Grant was the first person in history to receive a cochlear implant as an infant. He was born deaf and had an unprecedented surgery that allows him the ability to hear in one ear. Fast-forward to high school. Myranda was the new girl at school and Grant almost immediately developed a crush. But when he asked Myranda out, she said no. A few years later, they met again at a wedding and something clicked. They started dating and, within the first week of their new relationship, were faced with another massive surgery to save his hearing. They've faced some major hurdles and wins in the short time they've been married.

The couple was interviewed by Stephen.

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Speaker 1:

[inaudible] .

Speaker 2:

Hello and welcome to the choose love podcast. I shared the chronicles, the extraordinary love of ordinary people. Our hope is that these stories will help inspire. So hashtag choose love the podcast is presented by Elena. Dear your digital bridesmaid. We're here to take your squad moments to the next level and helped you at your bridal style so that you can focus on love. My name is Steve Hayden and I will be your host. Hello and welcome. This week we're going to hear the story of Miranda and grant a couple who really embody what it means to tackle our trustee head on and come out the other side all the much stronger for it.

Speaker 3:

Chuck, let's get into it.

Speaker 4:

Okay, well my name is Miranda and I'm grant and we live in Indiana. So I um, moved from a small town in Indiana to the central big city just before my junior year of high school. This was back in 2010. And um, so I'm in the middle of my high school career and having to switch schools. And , uh , there is a local private school that I enrolled in and was super nervous my first day going there , uh, wondering if people were going to accept me and how hard it was going to be with that transition. And on that first day , uh , there was a girl that came up to me and introduced herself and she wanted to bring me over and meet some of her good friends. So she introduced me to her boyfriend and her boyfriend's best friend and the best friend just happened to be grant. The four of us became a group, so to speak. We would always hang out and have lunches together and do fun things together. And I think right away from what I understand, grant kind of thought I was the cute new girl. He wasn't big on going to a social event, but anytime his friend would let him know, hey, that new girl going to be here, he decided to go. As the weeks went on, I noticed that he had this weird device on the side of his head and I felt that I knew him well enough to ask what it was. So I asked him what it was and then

Speaker 2:

that's, that's when I told her that, you know, it was a cochlear implant and um , I'm deaf

Speaker 5:

without it. I got it when I was 15 months old after my parents had kind of troubleshooted after figuring out that there might be something wrong with me because I wasn't reacting to sounds and noises the way normal kids did. So they basically finally figured out that I was dead and um, got in touch with a doctor through Riley Children's hospital here in Indianapolis and um, he decided that I was a good candidate for the curricular implant operation cause I was the youngest in the nation at that time to ever undergo that operation. Uh, it's basically a device that bypasses the , um, outer ear , uh , hearing processes through the use of electrodes. I had to go through a lot of like speech therapy and um, you know, a lot of maintenance to scores that went to make sure that I could speak clearly and do well in social environments. Do you consider yourself

Speaker 4:

to be lucky? Cause I guess if you'd been born a few years earlier or before this sort of technology had existing, you'd have been having , uh , an incredibly different life.

Speaker 5:

Yeah, I've always considered myself very fortunate because, you know , I was born at the perfect time when this technology was available. And , um, you know, I really helped further the , uh , research and advancement of it just being as successful as I have been. So, and I've been told that to by the doctor and he's still alive. He's easy. He's a very good family friend of ours still that did my operation. And he's always told me that he's enjoyed following me, you know, since those days. And he always brought me up in every type of research or seminar that he's gone to.

Speaker 4:

It took me a couple of weeks to even realize that he was any different, so to speak, because he had that speech therapies . He's always talked so well. If anything, I thought he might have had a little bit of an accent that I couldn't place. Um, but I had never heard of a cochlear implant up to that time. And if I hadn't met him, it's likely that I never would have. But it's just, it's interesting to think about because people in our society label individuals that can't hear as someone with a disability. And throughout the whole time that I've known him and being friends and then into our a loving relationship, I've never ever once thought of him as someone that has a disability, just someone that approaches life differently and has his own different sets of challenges. But you just learn to work through them and you can find love and happiness despite the struggles. We always call the devices , the ear. It's just easier to say that. Then cochlear all the time. So I'll ask, do you have your, is your ear on, is it off or is your ear, so if you're out in public and I'm talking like that, probably people probably look at me like I'm crazy. But so for back to when grant thought that I was cute and he became interested in me, we went to his best friend's Halloween party.

Speaker 1:

[inaudible]

Speaker 4:

so I decided that I dressed up as the joker. So I got this horrible clown makeup on and baggy clothing and all this, go to this party. Uh , we had a great time, all of us together and he was the one grant was the one to drive me home that night. And um , that's when he decided to confess his love to, to me, so to speak or to ask me out on a date. And I'm here. I am like looking terrible with my , in my costume. But um, at that time I thought he was cute and I loved having him as a friend, but I didn't know if I really wanted to date him. And my parents were pretty strict back then. So when I was in high school, they didn't want me today , so I turned them down and right after that we hit an owl on the way back and

Speaker 5:

yeah , absolutely in the headlight of my cars . So I happened to be her favorite animal as I had found out recently. So I felt great about that.

Speaker 4:

Well, I turned them down and he just killed my favorite animal, not on purpose, but it was just not the best way to end the night. Um, but anyway, well we still stayed friends after that. Um, and then fast forward to February, I had a birthday party and he came and I actually ended up introducing him to one of the neighbor girls who then,

Speaker 5:

yeah, we started, I started dating her shortly after Miranda's birthday party and a , this girl lived two houses down from where Miranda. And um,

Speaker 4:

they were together for many years. And I remember when they first started dating, I was so happy for him and all this stuff. And , and then just started finishing up high school, still us friends. And once we graduated, we both went to different universities. I went out of state, he stayed in state. I dated a couple of guys during that time that ended up not being very, very good relationships. And this girl that he was still dating, she ended up being a pretty terrible person too . Not a good person. Yeah. Um, but during that time, those two years, my first two years of university, I decided that I wasn't happy where I was or what I was doing. So I made a big life change and moved back home, changed colleges, changed my major. And it was right during that summer that our, the friend that introduced me to grant her then boyfriend, they decided to get married. So she asked me to be a bridesmaid and her wedding and grant was the best man. And during this time, we had lost touch during those two years, just because of life and life experiences we were going through. But at that point I was single. Grant had recently just broken up with that girl. And I remember going into the room for the dress rehearsal and seeing grant. And I immediately walked up to him and he was smiling the whole time. And when I saw him, it's just memories just flooded back into my mind from high school and the good times that we had together and that friendship that we built over those years. Um, and it was just good to see each other again. Yeah, really good to see each other again. And just, we just picked up right where we left off. And as we started to talk it really felt like a relief to meet someone. A guy that I knew was really good during that , our high school years and yeah . Yeah ,

Speaker 5:

it was more of like an understanding from where we had come from that we both had together . So like we both understood each other and that was one of the main things that we really talked about when we first connected again was , um, we were looking , understood what we both wanted from each other and from wide based on the things that we had both gone through separately. Like I just think I was just really happy to see her cause I didn't ex I know who was on the bridal party or in the bridal party , uh , particularly tess , uh, Haley and Caleb are friends and go on to college down in Evansville, Indiana. So I didn't really know who their friends were down in university.

Speaker 4:

So where did it go from there? So from there , uh, just from seeing him again, just I felt an a weird sense of peace. Seeing him and talking to him and realizing how comfortable it was just to talk about whatever. And , um, that next day was the wedding and we were sitting at the tables , uh, during toasts and things. People were getting up to dance. Grant, of course, does that, it was almost like a movie just came up to me, sat down in the empty chair, told me that I looked beautiful and then got up and left. So he liked John . He did that to me and I'm just saying thing , thank you. And then he leaves and all the girls rush over to me and saying , who is that? What was that? And just it caught me off guard, but in a really sweet way. And , um, we ended up dancing together, but grant is not a dancer. He hates dancing with a passion, with a very deep passion. So , um, it was, it was very meaningful that he decided to dance with me. Um, and during that, towards the end of the day, the four of us, again healing Caleb as a new married couple, the four of us were just sitting around with each other as people were cleaning up and just chatting. It just felt like we went back in time, but we had all those past experiences of bad relationships behind us and then seeing them together in such a good relationship. Um , and grant ended up asking me on a date, which we went on , um, a couple of days later . And when we did that, it just felt right at that point thinking about the past and where we were and how far we come. It just felt like a really cool match.

Speaker 5:

Uh , I just recently like really recently broken up with my ex and uh, I was not expecting to get into a relationship as quick as I did , uh , having been with that person before for so long. Um, but you know, we just, the timing was right and , um, I didn't want to miss my opportunity this time. Like I did, you know, in the past, cause I wrote , already tried to be with her at one point in time, so I wasn't gonna miss this one. Uh, so it was, it was really great. It was just a lot of different emotions, but they were all really great. I didn't really know what was gonna happen or what she was going to say, but , uh , I figured I'd just take a bet again. So

Speaker 4:

this time did that paid off?

Speaker 5:

Hey , paid off? Paid off is the right decision. Yeah. Yeah . So how was that first date?

Speaker 4:

We went to just a local restaurant and we ended up talking for several hours, which I'm sure annoyed the servers there, but it was just, again, it was you so easy to talk to and it just felt like a friend. And I think it's something special to know that you have this person as a friend before they were just someone that you grew to love because sometimes if they're just a friend, they might act differently versus if they're your significant other. So just knowing that he was a good person either way was really great. Um, and then that's also when he told me that , um, his cochlear device was starting to fail him. He heard a pop at a , like a 4th of July party that he went to and it wasn't fireworks that I heard. So he described it something like,

Speaker 5:

yeah, it was like, it was kind of like a static,

Speaker 4:

Huh .

Speaker 5:

Kind of like you would hear like on a radio when you're tuning frequencies. And then , um, after that, everything was just kind of fuzzy. I could still hear, but it was just not the same clarity that I had had before.

Speaker 4:

And when he said that he said that he would have to go in for another surgery. He just didn't know when that would be. And that would consist of opening his head up again, taking out the failed device , uh , and then putting in a new one and hoping that it works again because there was no guarantee guarantees , especially after an event. Probably what, like 22 years, 20 years, something like that since t his initial surgery. But anyway, with that knowledge we decided , uh, we kept on dating and everything was going great. So we decided July 21st of 2014 was going to be our official like exclusive date. And then the very next day, it was a Tuesday, we uh, hung out with our friends again, the newlyweds and that's when grant got the call from the doctors that he, his surgery was going to be Friday. Yeah . So just a few days later and we had just started dating and I'm thinking, okay, well we're officially together and now my new boyfriend going to have a major surgery. So this is, you know, not, not a usual thing to happen. How are you feeling about that? It felt very surreal because of what he described back back in the day and when we first met, just knowing what they were going to have to do, it made me nervous as well. One drain , well there's, there is always that risk that it might not work again. And how is that gonna Change if it doesn't? So there is a lot of uncertainty there and everything happening all at once. So it was hard to process the situation. We kind of just had to prepare for it. You know , went well? Yes it did.

Speaker 5:

Yeah it did. But , uh , they basically told me before the operation that , um , they were gonna remove the old one and uh, hopefully there wouldn't, wouldn't be enough. Like he said, the way described it was that there could be , um, some kind of obstructions that might prevent them from putting the new one in the same year and that they might have to operate on my other ear, which my other ear hadn't heard sound or processed sound ever. So they didn't know what kind of level of, for quality of hearing that I would have from that year if they decided to do that. So , um, we basically prayed that, you know, my original ear would be fine for the operation and it was, they were able to put the new device and it should last a lot longer. And I went from analog sound to digital sound. Uh, I basically had to relearn how to hear with this new device because my brain had never processed digital sound before.

Speaker 4:

And another thing was that he was having this major surgery and it was so sudden we hadn't even told his parents yet that we were dating or really

Speaker 5:

not really. They kind of just met her when she started showing up around all these conversations we were having for my surgery and I was like, yeah, I'd like her to be there during all this. So they just kind of, so

Speaker 4:

I met his mom the day before his surgery basically saying, hey, I hope it's okay that I join you when your son has a major surgery and that I'm there. I'm just being really nervous, hoping to set a good impression for her. And I think I did.

Speaker 5:

They were fine with it. I mean if I asked for to be there, they, they were fine on that stuff ,

Speaker 4:

but he couldn't here for two weeks after that surgery to allow him to heal. And normally they wait a full mom .

Speaker 5:

Yeah. That's the only reason we were rushing it like this. Suppose because classes started in like a month back at college. So I went from my surgery a month before classes started and then they turned it on the device two weeks after the surgery and I'm still healing even then. So , um , then they turned it on. Like I said, I had to basically, the only sounds I heard when they turned it on were beeps and clicks. I could not make out any intelligible dialogue of anything. It was really different.

Speaker 4:

Luckily though, he reads lips. So that made it a lot easier for me during those two weeks that I would just try and talk a little slower and he would be able to read my lips and we still were able to do things.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. I mean it was so coming from the beeps and clicks and then two weeks later , uh, I was at a level base, a very basic level still it , but I was able to function in the classroom well enough that, you know, I just kind of let my teachers know, hey, I'm still recovering from this and um , if I need anything from you guys, I'll let you know. What was the experience like? You know, was it like you sort of slowly started hearing words the gap ? Like I would sit outside in the evenings, you know, with my family and um , just kinda get used to the sounds again like planes and cars and trains and you know, stuff like that. The lawn mower. Um, it was just basically it was more of my brain doing its own thing cause I didn't have any control over it really. I just had to expose myself to it. Again, it took like, I want to say like three years for me to get back to the level of hearing that I had with my old device to a level that , uh, it sounded just as good as what I had before.

Speaker 4:

I don't know if I've even asked you this. Did I, did my voice sound different when you started favoring me ? It's just

Speaker 5:

sounded different when in the beginning, but like I said, you know, I've kind of, as time goes on, you forget the little minor things that bothered me in the beginning. Um , cause I've gotten used to it. Like when I have my first device, I never was able to go through that process cause I don't remember that time of my life cause I was too young. So it was like a whole new experience for me. Having this surgery, I was

Speaker 4:

basically able to go through everything that I went through then that I just wasn't old enough to understand or remember. So now that really cool thing about all this was when I moved back home and changed universities. I transferred to the university downtown that he had been going to and I had no idea that he was going there. So it was just a really amazing coincidence I guess that that happened because when we started classes I was able to meet up with them and have lunch and to see how he was doing and uh, just to help almost quiz him on how he was hearing things. And I, if a plane flew over, our car pass by would often ask, so did you hear that? Or he would look at, turned to me and ask , what was that sound or, and I would have to think, think about it. And what was that sound? Oh yeah. It was just , uh, it was the wind blowing that piece of paper over there. Just things that you don't think about that I don't know . It almost became a game in a way. Yeah. I was very thankful that I was there and that process is almost like we came back together because like God knew that we needed to be together during that time and we needed each other. So for me, and I'm sure the people listening to this podcast, I'm feeling incredibly appreciative of my use right now, my abilities , not something that you ever really, it's one of those things that you just take for granted. Yes, there is that set of challenges being married to someone that doesn't hear if he doesn't have his device on. So there are times where he'll have his device off or that, and I don't realize it. So I'll start talking and he's not looking or I start doing like weird interpretive dance to get his attention and things like that in a ways, you know, at times it might be annoying, but on times that it's also very endearing too . And it makes life fun and unique for us. And we just continued to date throughout that whole time. And on the 21st of July in 2014 , uh, we were out in Colorado in the mountains and we climbed up a waterfall five miles up into these mountains and that's where he proposed to me at a pond . Yeah. And then , um, I think it was very symbolic of our relationship of just, you know, going through a lot of trials and to something great. And , uh, we got married , uh , August 20th, 2016. So before it's too long, it'll be three years that we've been together and got married at a local church and went to four, eight, a fairgrounds for our reception and the wedding. It was, I don't even know where to start. Like it was amazing and experienced on like any other. And , um,

Speaker 5:

and all our family and friends there. And , um, our best friends, you know, that we talked about that we went through with high school. We're also a part of the wedding. Caleb was my best man

Speaker 4:

and Haley was my bridesmaid. So when we just flip flopped , uh , he didn't, I got him to dance it to me again. And that's another thing is grant's approach to music is so different. Uh , there's very specific types of music he enjoys or bands that he enjoys though . We , uh, he liked Keith urban and um, like the carpenters, like old music. And so I've learned to appreciate old music and we dance to a Keith urban song and it was, it was such a good day and it, and it poured down rain part of the day. So that's good luck I think. Anyway.

Speaker 5:

Great. It really felt meant to be at that point back then. You know, we always talk about like maybe it wouldn't have worked out as well as it has for us now. There was a reason that we, we didn't get together back then. Um, cause you know, we had, we hate, we chat our own things to learn and experience while we were apart from each other. Um, and we really felt a togetherness and an understanding of each other after our wedding night. Um, that we just were looking forward to building like together.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. I think about that all the time is like back then your ear and mature when you're in high school, even though you don't want to admit it. But we had to go through some bad experiences and figure out what kind of person we shouldn't be with or don't want to be with to really figure out who we should be with. I think we just checked a lot of the boxes for each other and

Speaker 5:

yeah, we became the best versions of ourselves for each other without even realizing it

Speaker 4:

live every day for each other and for other people. And really it's made us strong from all the experiences that we've been through. And uh , just recently his mom passed away unexpectedly when we were on a vacation and memories. And when I first met her, came back to mind. And all the good memories we had with her during those years that we worked together. Um, I remember promising her when we got married that I would take care of grant and that I would love him, that she loved him and she always told me too that out of all the people that she seen that I was probably the, I was the best person capable of doing that. So that meant a lot. And just having a solid relationship that we had it , it made that bad experience easier. It's still not something that you ever wish on anyone, but

Speaker 1:

yeah,

Speaker 4:

I'm just glad that we had each other through it.

Speaker 2:

So how do you regroup after a terrible experience like that? I mean, you know, what is the future for you guys? Where , where are you going?

Speaker 5:

Miranda is finishing up. She just graduated with , um ,

Speaker 3:

[inaudible]

Speaker 5:

occupational therapy masters .

Speaker 3:

Um ,

Speaker 5:

so, and I just started a new job recently with , uh , the police department here in Indianapolis. So we're just trying to get oriented, you know, she's going to try and get her job, you know, with the occupational therapy going. And we bought our first house in February together. So we've done that already. Um, we basically, you know, we hope to have some land somewhere someday out west, you know, like maybe Colorado or Wyoming or someplace like that where we can have a home eventually. But

Speaker 4:

I don't know if we want kids, you know , it's kind of just whatever life brings and um, it's grant obviously he was a big reason for me wanting to be an occupational therapist because they work with people in everyday activities to get them as independently functioning as possible. And I didn't want to become a speech therapist because I didn't want to be his speech therapist. I didn't want to like get on him everyday about things. So I thought OT was a great , um, great alternative, very similar in nature but, and very meaningful. Um , but not to the point where I would become his therapist, that I still needed to be his wife before any . Um, so yeah, it's just knowing that there are good days and bad days. Just like you said, you know, a loss of a parent and everyday struggles or everyday successes, finding new jobs and just building from where we've been and just continuing to enjoy life together.

Speaker 2:

I think it's really interesting sort of hearing your story and how you both went through this sort of process where you, you know, you were building this foundation, you were sort of serving yourselves by learning about the sort of person that you want to be with and then you ended up serving each other when it came to being there for each other and looking after each other. And now you're telling me that both of you are doing jobs where you're serving others. So it's like, it's such a great order in which you've gone from, you know, developing yourselves, developing each other to now your strong and stable and able to help people in the community.

Speaker 4:

Thanks. I wasn't completely intentional and just kind of found the place and um, yeah, it's just what makes life meaningful. So thank you for that.

Speaker 2:

It seems like Youtube both have a very special relationship that so strong and stable that it's at its core at its foundation. Yeah . I feel like, you know , you're talking about this, this dream of going west, having some land. I , you know , I'm under no illusion that will happen. And when you get to wherever it is you're going to go, you're going to have a great impact on the, you know, the community that you are , you become part . So best of luck to the both of you, I think.

Speaker 4:

Thank you. I appreciate that.

Speaker 2:

And so that concludes another episode of the choose love podcast. I'd like to say thank you to Miranda and grant for taking the time to speak to mean telling me that fascinating story. I like to wish them all the best in the future. And to your listeners, thank you again for being here and see you again soon.

Speaker 3:

[inaudible]

Speaker 4:

so you were saying [inaudible] you can, you can turn the [inaudible]

Speaker 2:

device off . Yes. I usually , um, I don't sleep with it on, so whenever you want some peace and quiet, you can just flip the switch. Yeah , yeah. It's pretty great.

Speaker 4:

I told them it's pretty great until we have kids that now be just be kicking him all the time when the baby's waking me up and he's sound asleep right now, I've gone from envious to jealous cause that would be a fantastic, yeah, for sure. Last night, I dunno, I didn't hear anything. Exactly. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. Just another bridge to overcome . [inaudible] .