Friday, March 27, 2009

The Queen and I

I'm on the train travelling between egos, listening to my ipod and trying to collect my thoughts. I've been wanting to write about a conference that was held in Rome on Tuesday where I met a member of the CI Circle for the first time. Anne!!!!!!! Kind of an emotional experience for me. As we speak, little Ci Circlers are convening in LA- Rachel, Naomi, etc. It is a great feeling to actually come into contact with people with whom you have shared so many virtual moments.

I'm working on three hours of sleep here, not good for the bags under my eyes. My friend called me at 4,30 from Dubai- she needed an on the spot interpreter..wonderful, I thought someone had died- never a good thing, a phone call at that hour of the morning.

Anyway, back to Rome. It was a conference sponsored by the Swedish Embassy on the cochlear attendance: THE QUEEN OF SWEDEN!!!!!

I shed tears. First of all, we watched the procession of her arrival at the hospital via wide-screen in the conference hall. Gracious, beautiful. Never in my life have I ever seen a woman look good in orange- she wears her title well. She stepped up to the podium and proceeded to speak the most melodic English I HAVE EVER HEARD!!!! She said how deaf children hold a special place in her heart, how she has been working to support cochlear implants and a deaf child's right to speak. I don't know how to explain this, but the idea that a QUEEN could actually care about my son's disability...touched me immensely.

Then...SHE arrived: Ann-Charlotte Wrennstad Gyllenram. From the moment she opened her mouth, mine was on the floor. Now THAT is a kick-some-ass for my kid- take on the political sytem...NEVER TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER MOM! Many times during her speech, I felt the strong urge to leap from my seat and run to smack her five. I controlled myself, barely. Every now and then I would turn around and look at Anne to say, "I WANT TO BE LIKE HER!!!" Her speech touched on everything I am trying to work on now in Italy and she has been dealing with political bullshit much longer than me in Sweden. Really, it was a revolutionary moment for me.

Emotional experience, exhilarating. The kind of conference that motivates you to take on the world...


I just happened to meet the President of the FIADDA (which I guess would be the equivalent of AgBELL) and a representative of the ENS (which I guess would be the equivalent of NAD). So, obviously I requested their support for my project. They said, no problem, send me an email.

So, I did...only by mistake I sent the Pres. of the equivalent of AGBell, the letter for the President of the equivalent of NAD...

If I manage to pull this will truly be miraculous.


Anonymous said...

Ha!! Jodi, I love your description of how you wanted to high-five the president of the Swedish parents org.!! She really was one tough cookie.
You know what, you kick-butt, too, and you are already doing something that's going to make a difference in many people's lives: raising awareness of hearing loss and newborn hearing screening.
Have you blogged about the conference in Italian, yet? I bet a lot of people would be interested in what went down; especially all the talk about early and bilateral implants.
I'm still dreaming of the buffet (LOL).

Unknown said...

Hi Anne!!
See Italian blog *smile*
Thanks again for the lift!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jodi...
You are correct that ENS is equivalent to NAD (National Association of the Deaf). Good luck with your project. Learn any LIS yet? :-)


MM said...

Strange to say many Brits have little time for their royal family. We had the Queen of England come to Wales a while ago on a visit, but civic leaders were in panic because so few people were at the roadside to wave at them. Thye phoned local schools told them the children had a day off,and then bussed them to the roadside, gave them flags to wave ! Result... lots of pcitures of the queen smiling with children surrounding here, PR sorted !

Debbie said...

OMG! Jodi -- did you ever think when you were sitting in our little school in Pikesville that you would be a part of a worthwhile global cause as you are? You are living outside the bubble we grew up in and experiencing so many tremendous things. It's so wonderful that you can sit in a room with someone who inspires and awes you. Go girl!!! I am so inspired and in awe of you (and Jordan -- the catalyst in your journey).

Rachel @ Cochlear Implant Online said...

I'm so glad to hear that you had a great time! Did you also meet Carol Flexer, one of the greatest AV therapists and audiologists??

Unknown said...

Debbie..never would I ever have imagined that I would have ended up in Tuscany living this life- interesting. I talk to Jordan all the time about the stuff that goes on, he just looks at me, smiles and says- okay, I'm playing Wii. lol

Rachel- Carol Flexer was unable to attend:(( I was devastated to say the least- but it was an amazing event.