People at work must think I’m very good at completely tuning out some of our coworkers.

People I volunteer with must wonder why I don’t listen to them better, as I’m always asking them to repeat themselves.

My sons still get frustrated when I miss something they’ve asked me.

None of this is intentional . . . well, maybe I do tune out a couple coworkers. I have had hearing issues for the past five years or so. The hearing in my left ear has deteriorated, leaving me having to rely on my right ear to hear everything I possibly can.

Each year, I have my hearing tested. And each year, I’m told it will cost so much money to order a hearing aid, even with the government chipping in and my insurance company paying a certain amount. With one of my teenage boys already needing braces, I’ve had to budget that payment into the mix each month. There’s not a lot extra to save for myself.

For the second straight year, I saw an advertisement from Bentley Hearing Services in London, Ont. offering hearing tests and aids for three people during the holiday season — Hear for the Holidays.

This year, I thought to myself, why not apply? I was not going to be able to afford a hearing aid on my own for quite some time, so why not take a chance on this opportunity? So I submitted a short letter on how my life would change if I had a hearing aid — I wouldn’t miss conversations at work or home; I wouldn’t have to situate myself at my volunteer meetings to try and hear most of the discussions at the table, trying to read people’s lips if I’m too far away to catch what they are saying; I would be able to hear more of the world around me, including my boys asking me questions or telling me little stories about their days. They are getting older and may soon stop doing this. I just didn’t want to miss anything during our family Christmas this year.

A couple weeks later, I heard back from Barbara Bentley who said I was chosen as one of the three people this year to receive hearing aids! I was shocked. And so grateful.

Two appointments later, I found myself leaving the office with a hearing aid hidden in my left ear. Traffic seemed a bit louder than I had imagined . . . I could listen to multiple conversations on the city bus . . . and even today, I find myself hearing all my coworkers around me. I’m not missing anything anymore. All thanks to Bentley Hearing Services and a chance I took on writing an e-mail. An added bonus — because I only needed one hearing aid, they were able to help out a 4th person this year. What a fantastic gift they have given us all this holiday season.

I guess Christmas wishes do come true!