Signing Times Adventure at Rory+Joey's Farm

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine reached out to me to ask if I had heard about the small concert that Rachel Coleman, of Signing Times, was going to be having at the farm of Joey, Rory, and Indy Feek.

 I had not heard about it, but decided it might be kind of fun to make the trip over.

You see Signing Times videos have been a very big part of our life. 

So big in fact, that when I told my 23 year old son that we were making the trip to Columbia, TN, to see a Signing Times concert, in a sing song tune with out missing a beat, he said, "With Alex and Leah?" lol (If you have watched Signing Time videos you will get that right away. lol) 

Our sweet ME has been able to do a lot of things in life. 

She is one pretty amazing little girl. 

However, speech has always been a very difficult part of ME's life. 

So for many years we used sign language with ME in order to fill in the communication gaps. 

That means we own many Signing Time videos in our house. (Rachel, I am pretty sure I am paying Leah's way through college! Go Leah Go!) 

ME watched them day and night because she loved them so much. 

It also meant that all of her big brothers and sisters can sing each song by heart. Yes, after you watch and/or listen to something in the background in your house for years, you can recite every word. lol

So, when my friend contacted me and asked me if I was interested in attending this event I quickly said yes. 

Yesterday, on a bright chilly Tennessee day, we piled in the car, and took the ride over to the Feek farm. 

I have to tell you, attending this event felt like going home. 

I love many things about the city life, but my heart has loved the country life for as long as I can remember too. 

The minute we drove up to their farm I felt like I was at home at my own farm.

Everyone was so kind and gracious. From the sweet people that helped us park our cars to the kind people welcoming us through the door. 

It was a small event, and small events leave so much room for a home town feel to penetrate a room. 

The enthusiatic crowd was very excited to sing along with Leah and Rachel. 

And they did! 

Rachel's performance was very warm and welcoming. 

She shared so much about her life and experiences.... 

....almost like she was in a room full of old friends!

And then there is beautiful Leah....

...the little girl in all of the videos.

Rachel's "why" for creating them. Her "mama bear why". 

Leah is not a little girl anymore. 

She is a beautiful young woman who is attending college now. Yes, you read that right! Time is flying by my friends, for all of us. lol

I enjoyed watching Leah the most. It is likely because I am a person who has navigated living in a hearing world, even though I was born severely HOH. I was very interested in watching Leah perform, and see her share her story, in a sense. This is her story after all. I could feel my story in her story. The deaf/HOH world is nothing like the hearing world. This I know for sure. So I felt myself watching her more than I watched Rachel.

I got to capture a few little moments after the show to talk to her.

That connection to others in the Deaf/HOH world is just like it is in the Down syndrome world. You need very few words to say, ah, yes, I understand.

We quickly shared that we had both been a part of the Deaf/HOH world since birth, and very quickly shared about our listening devices. I wanted to tell her she can do anything! That if I could do what I have done over time, with out anyone knowing my severe loss of hearing, she can do anything too! But time did not allow that. So Leah, if you are reading, I am saying it now. (I will link my learning to learn post here, just in case you are! #Deaf/HOHproud)

She is a shining star, and will continue to show the world that every person deserves dignity and respect. 

She reminded me so much of many of my own beautiful children, as she is nearly their age and had the same sweet disposition. 

And let me tell you, that little boy who did not want to talk to her when she was a little girl because she was different, (which was why Rachel started creating these videos), has no idea how much he helped them change the world! 

Rachel, Leah, and Hopkins

Besides watching a sweet little concert, we made new friends and had wonderful conversation with others who were attending. 

There were so many beautiful babies and children with Down syndrome in this one barn, it was like a mini Down Syndrome convention! 

That alone made me smile from ear to ear!

Our new friends! 

The excitement of the small crowd was palpable. 

I could not help but think that Joey was smiling down watching, saying, "Yes, this! This is exactly what I want this space used for!" 

And then this happened.

My favorite performance by far. 

I think it will be yours too!

I could feel my eyes well up, and I could hear Rachel's voice crack and fight back the tears. It was truly beautiful. 

Again, a moment that made me think that Joey would be watching saying, "Yes, this.... Thank you!" 

And you knew Rachel knew that as well. 

It was a delightful little show, and I am so glad we got to attend. 

MaryEllen and Rachel 

Thank you Indy and Rory for opening your barn and your hearts to allow others to be included in this wonderful event. 

I know when I thanked you personally, Rory, you very humbly said something to the tune of, "Oh, I did not do much." 

Yes you did. 

You brought music back to your beautiful farm, (I don't know for sure, so maybe not, but very likely for the first time since you said goodbye to your beautiful wife), and you allowed many of us to be a part of that sacred moment. 

Thank you. 

For those who were not able to attend you can see the performance by purchasing it as a download. I will post the link to purchasing it here as soon as I get it. 

Every purchase will benefit the Loeys-Dietz Syndrome Foundation in honor of Indy's friend, Scout. 

Rory, ME and me!

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 13, 2016. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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