Debbie Morina's Story

PACE Class - 18 June 17

My father has been gone for nearly 30 years now, and I miss him every day. I grew up in a home with my mom and my dad, an older brother and a younger brother. I was the only girl, and my dad and I were very close.

He was born a hearing child, but at a very young age had measles. He had a very high fever, lost his hearing and he was deaf.

Growing up with a deaf father, several things happened. You always learned to talk loud. My father learned to read lips of people he knew. He could read their facial expressions and he knew.

Back when I was growing up, the Methodist minister moved every 3 or 4 years. My dad had trouble understanding the minister at church because they changed so frequently.

Our whole family went to the Methodist church. We sat on the 2nd row every Sunday on the left side of the church. We were there, knowing that he could not understand a word that was being said. But he had us there, listening and being part of the church service.

The thing I learned from my dad? People growing up, especially as a teenager, people made fun of him, they laughed at him. My dad never, ever said anything against any person he ever met. You could be stabbing him in the back and he would say "At least you sharpened the knife". He was a good guy.

We grew up in a house that was built up on pier and beam, where the house is up above the ground. To this very day, I can close my eyes and hear my father, who didn't walk anywhere quietly, walking from one end of our house to the other, with my newborn baby crying because she had colic, and often he would pat her back and say "It's all right, honey. It's all right. Jesus loves you and I'm here to protect you."

I've always said that I know what God is like. I have lived with a man that is just a tenth of what God is, and I know that my heavenly Father loves me that much more than my earthly father, and he loves me more than his life.