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Her Hands This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Your hands show who you are. For some, they show more than that: they show a way of communicating, a language. My mom was born hard of hearing, or, as most people refer to it, deaf. At a young age her parents figured out she could not hear or talk. Her way of communication was sign language. Her hands were her voice, her only way to say what she wanted.

Now, as an adult, she can speak. She may mispronounce a word or two, but her speech is incredible for someone who was once a little girl who could not say a word. Five years ago, she got cochlear implants that are basically the same as hearing aids only much, much better. Now she can hear. Her first job was as a sign language interpreter. She was able to help people in her situation. Her hands moved fast to keep up with the speaker, repeating everything said … but using her hands.

Her hands have veins and bruises, just like any other pair of hands, but hers have a talent. A special talent. A life-changing ­talent. It almost doesn't seem real the way her hands can move so quickly and gracefully, mastering each and every sign.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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