Deb, Thank You.
You truly don't know the scope of how much you touch someone's life.
So, before it's too late, please tell the people in your life who impact you.
Please. I beg you.
I am gutted tonight to learn that I can't do this for someone who has been instrumental in my life. Today I learned of the passing of a woman who brought such light and comfort and peace to my life. I would love to be able to tell her family and friends, but I have no way to contact them. I feel compelled to tell you. I need the world to know the impact Deb Chute had on my life. YOU need to hear about this wonderful woman I was blessed to know.
I first met Deb, when Thomas was one month old, in 2011. She worked in the audiology unit where he would be diagnosed at three months old as deaf. As a new mum, healing from pregnancy and labour, I was devastated to be driving an hour away with my newborn for hearing test after hearing test. Beside myself to endure these tests where he had to be completely still and silent. For hours.
Deb was the first person who showed our family compassion. The first one who looked into my eyes and truly demonstrated that she understand how hard it was. She was so empathetic, comforting and warm. Her smile and love literally got me through years of terrifying appointments. She treated Thomas as if he was her own grandchild. I know we were just one of hundreds of clients of hers, but I never once felt that way. I always felt like we were the most important ones in her day.
Deb would hold baby Thomas like her own. She showed me the way during some of the most terrifying years of my life. I always knew, no matter how scary the appointment would be, Deb would be there. I got immense comfort from her presence. She always shared stories of her children and husband and grandkids. Her love for them was palpable. You could just tell that her family was the light of her life. We'd chat about fashion, shopping, radio, vacations and more. In this new-to-me world of audiology, Deb created a sense of normalcy. This was no small task.
As our journey continued, we constantly saw new audiologists. In fact, in Thomas' seven years, he's seen five different audiologists in Kelowna. Deb was always the constant. I would book through her, only wanting to come up for new ear moulds if she would do it. There was a point where I was seeing her about every six weeks. From emergencies to learning Thomas would need major surgery in Vancouver and everything in between, Deb was there. She always had a smile, a reassuring comment and gave me the space to take a deep breath.
I am devastated to hear of Deb's passing earlier this year. I wish I could help her family or convey to them the love our family has for her. She's forever left an imprint on my life. She was more than just someone we saw at appointments. She sent me the most beautiful card after Jeremy, my husband, died last year. Then the first appointment I had to brave after he passed away, Deb was right beside me. She just always had this look in eye; I knew she had my back.
I am not sure how to best honour Deb, but I will. I know I am forever changed for knowing her. I feel honoured to have had the chance to see her smile pop around the corner so many times over the last seven years. No matter what confusing and upsetting hurdle was presented, Deb had the answer. She brought me such ease that I know I will hold on to as Thomas' future progresses.
I don't have any photos of Deb with Thomas and I so, so wish I did. But I will hold the love and care she showed us in my heart. I am so sad that I never told her how much she helped us.
You never know how much you touch someone. It could be the person you see at the gas station once a week, the person who hands you your daily coffee or your dentist. Tell them. Let the people in your life know how much they mean to you.
I am honoured to have been touched by Deb Chute. I just wish I could have told her.